3 Big Stocks Getting Big Attention

 

BALTIMORE (Stockpickr) -- Put down the 10-K filings and the stock screeners. It's time to take a break from the traditional methods of generating investment ideas. Instead, let the crowd do it for you.

>>5 Stock Charts to Buy for Gains in March

From hedge funds to individual investors, scores of market participants are turning to social media to figure out which stocks are worth watching. It's a concept thats known as "crowdsourcing," and it uses the masses to identify emerging trends in the market.

Crowdsourcing has long been a popular tool for the advertising industry, but it also makes a lot of sense as an investment tool. After all, the market is completely driven by the supply and demand, so it can be valuable to see what names are trending among the crowd.

While some fund managers are already trying to leverage social media resources like Twitter to find algorithmic trading opportunities, for most investors, crowdsourcing works best as a starting point for investors who want a starting point in their analysis. Today, we'll leverage the power of the crowd to take a look at some of the most active stocks on the market today.

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These "most active" names are the most heavily-traded names on the market -- and often, uber-active names have some sort of a technical or fundamental catalyst driving investors' attention on shares. That's especially true now that earnings season is officially underway. And when there's a big catalyst, there's often a trading opportunity.

Without further ado, heres a look at today's stocks.

DryShips

Nearest Resistance: $5
Nearest Support: $4
Catalyst: Technical Setup

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Deep sea freight shipper DryShips (DRYS) is seeing big volume this afternoon, an aftershock from March 3 earnings that broke shares above former resistance at $3.80. After opening higher this morning, shares of DryShips have been losing steam as the session progressed, now down 1% as I write.

That doesn't say much for the staying power of this breakout. While resistance at $5 is a good distance away, there isn't a compelling technical reason to be a buyer here.

Staples

Nearest Resistance: $12
Nearest Support: N/A
Catalyst: Earnings, Store Closings

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Shares of office supply retailer Staples (SPLS) are down more than 15% this afternoon following the firm's fourth-quarter earnings call. Staples earned 33 cents for the quarter, missing analysts' estimates of 39 cents. But worse than that, the firm announced that it expects sales to decline in the quarter ahead, and that it's cutting costs by closing 225 stores. That negative surprise from Staples is doing a number on this stock's chart.

Staples had been looking bullish from a technical standpoint, setting up an ascending triangle pattern with resistance at $13.50. But today's big gap down throws any upside potential out the window -- and an aborted bearish setup is every bit as negative for SPLS as an outright bearish one would have been. Don't look for a bargain-priced entry until this stock can find some semblance of support.

Office Depot

Nearest Resistance: $5.10
Nearest Support: $4.50
Catalyst: Staples Sympathy Move

>>5 Hated Stocks You Should Love

Shares of Staples' peer Office Depot (ODP) are getting hit today too following SPLS' earnings call. It's a sympathy move that's pushing Office Depot more than 4% lower as I write. The ODP selling makes sense: If league leader Staples can't make the retail office supply model work, what hope does ODP have?

The chart looks more hopeless right now, though. ODP has been in a clear-cut downtrend since the end of October, so until that changes, even lower levels continue to be the high-probability outlook.

To see these stocks in action, check out the at Most-Active Stocks portfolio on Stockpickr.

-- Written by Jonas Elmerraji in Baltimore.

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At the time of publication, author had no positions in stocks mentioned. Jonas Elmerraji, CMT, is a senior market analyst at Agora Financial in Baltimore and a contributor to TheStreet. Before that, he managed a portfolio of stocks for an investment advisory returned 15% in 2008. He has been featured in Forbes , Investor's Business Daily, and on CNBC.com. Jonas holds a degree in financial economics from UMBC and the Chartered Market Technician designation. Follow Jonas on Twitter @JonasElmerraji

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