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: $53.50
Nearest Support: $50
Catalyst: Q1 Earnings Beat
Comcast (CMCSA) is up more than 3% on big volume this afternoon, following first-quarter earnings numbers that beat estimates. Wall Street was looking for profits of 64 cents per share in the first quarter, but Comcast actually earned 68 cents on revenue that was $400 million higher than forecast. The earnings beat is solid, but it's the market's reaction to that news that investors should be paying attention to this week.
CMCSA has been locked in a downtrend since the start of February, corralled by a pair of well-defined trend lines. But shares broke out of that channel in today's session, an indication that a major change in trend is kicking off here. If you decide to buy Comcast today, I'd recommend keeping a protective stop at the 50-day moving average.
Nearest Resistance: $17.50
Nearest Support: $15.50
Catalyst: Merger Talk Issues
Barrick Gold (ABX) is treading water today after a sharp move lower in yesterday's session. Rumors of troubled merger talks between Barrick and Newmont Mining (NEM) are to blame for the drop, following reports that the miners were going to make a deal public this week.
From a technical standpoint, you don't want to own Barrick Gold here. Shares triggered a head and shoulders top pattern in yesterday's selloff, and there's a lot of downside risk at this point: $15.50 is a likely downside target. While the potential for a mended merger discussion does inject event risk into the equation (that is, it could invalidate the selling pressure in one fell swoop), that's a roll of the dice rather than a high-probability trade. Caveat emptor.
Nearest Resistance: $420
Nearest Support: $350
Catalyst: Q1 Earnings
Netflix (NFLX) is up 6% on big volume this afternoon, drawing significant attention following its first quarter earnings results. Netflix grew domestic and international subscribers to 35.7 million and 12.7 million respectively, driving earnings to 86 cents per share, which came in well above analysts' expected 78-cent profit. Even if you missed today's big 6% move, however, now looks like a high-probability buying opportunity in NFLX.
Technically, NFLX was looking "bottomy" in the first part of April, so the big influx of buyers today had little trouble breaking shares out above $350. That's a buy signal as shares come up on their next resistance level up at $420. $420 is less a major price barrier than a stumbling block. Once cleared, it should give NFLX a second chance to retest highs from February.
To see these stocks in action, check out the at Most-Active Stocks portfolio on Stockpickr.
-- Written by Jonas Elmerraji in Baltimore.