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: $20
Nearest Support: N/A
Catalyst: Q3 Earnings
Small-cap tech company Infoblox (BLOX) was topping off the list of high-volume trades Friday afternoon -- for all the wrong reasons. BLOX plummeted following the firm's third-quarter earnings release. The drop is on the heels of a cut to full-year earnings forecasts as well as news that CEO Robert Thomas is leaving the firm. While analysts were expecting profits of 6 cents next quarter, BLOX announced that it expects profits to come in between break-even and 2 cents.
Friday's big-volume selloff is the second-highest-volume move of 2014 for this stock. The last one was a similar gap down back in February after BLOX's last earnings call. There's no two ways about it: From a technical standpoint, Infoblox looks broken. Investors should stay away from the long side of this stock for the time being.
Nearest Resistance: $50
Nearest Support: $42
Catalyst: Q1 Earnings
Software maker Splunk (SPLK - Get Report) got shoved lower Friday afternoon, dragged down by first-quarter earnings that missed the mark. Analysts were expecting the firm to lose 6 cents per share, but the firm actually lost 42 cents for the quarter. That big miss is injecting a whole lot of uncertainty into shares, as weak hands sell en masse.
The good news for Splunk is that, technically speaking, shares could look a lot worse. This stock was holding prior support at $42 in Friday's session, and it's still within grabbing distance of the $50 breakout level that shares were testing Thursday. Today's big drop is far from ideal, but the chart isn't broken yet. Don't buy SPLK until this stock can catch a bid above $50.
Lions Gate Entertainment
Nearest Resistance: $329.50
Nearest Support: $25
Catalyst: Q4 Earnings
Lions Gate Entertainment (LGF) was also down big on Friday, another casualty of a conspicuous earnings miss. LGF reported that fourth-quarter profits dropped to 33 cents per share, well short of the $1.10 per share that the firm earned in the same quarter last year. That's a nasty surprise because of the box office successes that LGF has booked lately. While lumpy revenues from quarter to quarter are to be expected from a film company, investors aren't tolerating it today.
From a technical standpoint, though, nothing has really changed in LGF. Shares are back in the sideways consolidation range between $25 and 29.50, and as long as they remain there, it's premature to panic about the selling shares are seeing today.
Nearest Resistance: $13.50
Nearest Support: N/A
Catalyst: Q1 Earnings
Apparel retailer Express (EXPR - Get Report) was also getting sold off Friday afternoon, reeling after a first-quarter earnings miss. Analysts expected a profit of 14 cents per share for the quarter, but the firm actually only earned 6 cents. EXPR wasn't alone in the big miss -- the first quarter was challenging for the firm's peers as well -- and that's a big reason why Express wasn't being punished as hard as others for the miss in Friday's session.
Even so, this chart is broken. Shares have been held lower for the last six months thanks to a downtrend, and today's big gap down means new 52-week lows are getting made now. Fundamentally, EXPR is starting to look cheap because of the selloff, but I wouldn't recommend buying until the downtrend gets broken.
To see these stocks in action, check out the at Most-Active Stocks portfolio on Stockpickr.
-- Written by Jonas Elmerraji in Baltimore.