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.
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 that's 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.
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. And when there's a big catalyst, there's often a trading opportunity.
Without further ado, here's a look at today's stocks.
Nearest Resistance: $23.50
Nearest Support: $21
Catalyst: SanDisk Sympathy Move
First up today is flash memory maker Micron Technology (MU), a name that's up 5.6% this afternoon as a result of big moves taking place in another name. Micron is up on the heels of positive earnings surprise at peer SanDisk (SNDK), news that investors are extrapolating onto MU today.
After spending the last year and change as one of the big momentum names, Micron was one of the issues that rolled over the hardest in this recent correction when momentum issues suddenly lost leadership. More signficiant, the long-term uptrend in this stock broke in the middle of last month.
Unless shares of MU can break topside through their new downtrend, it makes sense to stay away from the long-side of this stock. There's still a lot of selling pressure in MU in April.
Nearest Resistance: $33
Nearest Support: $28.50
Catalyst: Q1 Earnings
$61 billion financial services giant Morgan Stanley (MS) is getting bid up 3.5% on high volume this afternoon, boosted by the results of the firm's first quarter earnings call. MS earned profits of 74 cents per share for the first quarter, besting analysts' 59-cent estimates by a big margin. That makes Morgan Stanley the latest legacy investment bank to enjoy a better-than-expected first quarter of 2014. So does that mean you should buy it here?
Morgan Stanley enjoyed a big run in the last year -- not a big surprise, given the fact that the investment bank's business is basically a leveraged bet on equity prices. But shares broke their uptrend at the start of April, and shares have been making lower lows since. Even though shares are up today, it's not a technically meaningful move; resistance at $33 looks like a more significant barrier to more upside this spring.
Nearest Resistance: $10.20
Nearest Support: $9
Catalyst: Q1 Earnings
Huntington Bancshares (HBAN) is seeing big volume of its own today, after the mid-cap regional bank reported fist quarter earnings on Wednesday. HBAN earned 17 cents per share for the quarter, a number that came in more or less in-line with expectations. That's part of the reason that shares are staying in a tight range today despite the huge volume flows, but the real story in HBAN comes from the chart.
That's because this financial name is currently testing a trendline support level this afternoon, pressing down on a level that's acted like a floor for shares over the past six months. The buy signal comes on a bounce off of support -- look for that in the next few sessions.
Nearest Resistance: $15
Nearest Support: N/A
Catalyst: Wal-Mart Competition
Money mover Western Union (WU) is getting negative attention today after Wal-Mart (WMT) announced that it would begin providing a store-to-store transfer service that directly competes with WU's flagship offering. The announcement has WU down 3.75% on big volume in this afternoon's session.
This isn't a "buy the dips" opportunity. WU is breaking through a key support level at $15, an indication that the glut of buying pressure previously at that level has gotten flushed out by the Wal-Mart news. Buyer beware: Lower levels look likely for WU in April.
To see these stocks in action, check out the at Most-Active Stocks portfolio on Stockpickr.
-- Written by Jonas Elmerraji in Baltimore.