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: N/A
Nearest Support: $95
Catalyst: Analyst Upgrade
Tech giant Apple (AAPL) is perennially on the list of highest-volume stocks on the Nasdaq -- but today, shares are seeing conviction buying at the hands of a notable analyst upgrade. Barclays boosted its rating on Apple to overweight, citing strong product checks that could drive better-than-expected earnings numbers when Apple reports next week. With the upgrade, Barclays upped its price target from $95 to $110.
Technically speaking, AAPL continues to look stellar. Shares broke out above prior resistance at $95 pressing shares up against new highs in this afternoon's session. New highs are significant from an investor psychology standpoint because they mean that everyone who has bought shares in the last year is sitting on gains. As a result, the "back to even" mentality is less of a concern than it would be for a name with a higher proportion of shareholders sitting on losses. If you decide to buy here, keep a tight stop in place.
Nearest Resistance: $49
Nearest Support: $46
Catalyst: Earnings, Mortgage Accord
Big bank Citigroup (C) is up nearly 3.7% this afternoon, boosted by a positive second-quarter earnings release and a settled mortgage bond accord with the DoJ. Excluding one-time items (such as the $7 billion settlement with the Feds), Citi's earnings came in at $1.24 per share, besting the $1.05 per share estimate that was Wall Street's best guess. In addition, the big settlement is a sigh of relief for investors. Not only is it materially less than the $10 billion that the government wanted, but it's also Citi's get-out-of-court-free card.
But that doesn't mean you should buy shares of Citigroup right now. While today's share jump is welcome for shareholders, this stock continues to look technically bearish. Shares of Citi are bouncing their way lower in a descending triangle pattern this month. A breakdown below $46 support is the big sell signal to watch for.
I also featured Citigroup recently in "5 Stocks Hedge Funds Love This Summer."
GT Advanced Technologies
Nearest Resistance: $20
Nearest Support: $13
Catalyst: Plant Production Issues
Last up is GT Advanced Technologies (GTAT), a name that's down 5% on big volume this afternoon, following an analyst note from CLSA that indicated that production issues were causing limited supply of sapphire glass at the firm's plants, a problem that is likely to materially impact guidance. This is just the latest in a string of negative analyst comments about GTAT, and that's being reflected in this stock's price chart at the moment.
GTAT looks "toppy" right now, thanks to a classic "double top" pattern that's been forming in shares for the last several months. A violation of support at $13 is the big sell signal that points to lower ground in GTAT this summer.
To see these stocks in action, check out the at Most-Active Stocks portfolio on Stockpickr.
-- Written by Jonas Elmerraji in Baltimore.