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: $28
Nearest Support: $26.50
Catalyst: Activist Stake
Computer storage giant EMC (EMC) is up on big volume this afternoon, after news hit that the firm was being targeted by activist investor Elliott Management. The investment firm has built a more than $1 billion stake in EMC and is pushing for the firm to spin off its VMWare (VMW) unit and pursue a strategic buyer for the rest of EMC's business. Shares are up 3.2% on speculation that the moves could unlock extra value for shareholders.
From a technical standpoint, today's gap higher is bullish, but not much has changed as of yet. Overhead resistance at $28 is swatting down shares of EMC this afternoon, as sellers take gains at higher levels. I'd recommend waiting for EMC to catch a bid above $23 before jumping into shares here.
Nearest Resistance: $72
Nearest Support: $68
Catalyst: Pre-Earnings Buying
Investors are piling into shares of Facebook (FB) this morning ahead of the firm's third-quarter earnings call on Wednesday.
Facebook has been a surprise star performer in 2014. Shares of the social network are up more than 26% since January, and now this stock is making a run for previous resistance at $72. If FB can take out that $72 price ceiling, expect a lot more upside in the second half of the year.
Nearest Resistance: $46
Nearest Support: $41
Catalyst: Technical Setup
Finally, technology giant Microsoft (MSFT) is making big-volume moves for technical reasons today. Microsoft has been bouncing its way higher in a well-defined price channel since the middle of last year, giving traders a very low-risk buying opportunity on every successive test of trend line support. But shares hit trend line resistance last week, and MSFT has been backing off predictably in the sessions since. While Microsoft is a textbook "buy-the-dips stock" right now, we're not near a dip at the moment.
Buyers should wait for the next bounce off of trend line support for a high-probability entry opportunity.
For more on Microsoft, here's Jim Cramer's recent take.
To see these stocks in action, check out the at Most-Active Stocks portfolio on Stockpickr.
-- Written by Jonas Elmerraji in Baltimore.