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.
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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.
Without further ado, here's a look at today's stocks.
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Nearest Resistance: $30.50
Nearest Support: $30
Catalyst: Analyst Note
Shares of drug giant Pfizer (PFE) are up just shy of 1% on big volume this afternoon, boosted by an analyst note from Jefferies that identified the pharmaceutical company as one of a few names in the sector that stand to benefit from M&A options. Even though today's pop is relatively small, it's technically significant. Shares are breaking out above trendline resistance for the first time since the start of the year, an indication that Pfizer's long-term selloff could be abating as new buyers step in to pick up shares.
If you decide to be a buyer of Pfizer here, it makes sense to keep a protective stop at the 200-day moving average. That level keeps downside risk small, but it ensures that you're out if PFE re-enters its downtrend.
Nearest Resistance: $110
Nearest Support: $100
Catalyst: Phase 2 Failure
Gilead Sciences (GILD) is another stock that's seeing active trading in today's session. In this case, it's because GILD is selling to the tune of 2% following a failed Phase 2 study of the firm's simtuzumab pancreatic cancer treatment. While the potential impact of the failed result is relatively small, it's a black eye on a stock that's been in rally mode for the better part of the last year.
For now, GILD's uptrend remains intact. Shares tested support at $100 in yesterday's session, ultimately ending things higher by the time the closing bell rang. But today's price action is giving GILD's price floor a re-test. There's a pretty simple contingent trade here: if shares violate support, it's a sell. Otherwise, buy the bounce on GILD's next white-bar day.
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Nearest Resistance: $32.50
Nearest Support: $27.50
Catalyst: $400 million ESL Loan
A rough year at Sears Holdings (SHLD) is getting rougher this afternoon, following news that the $3.5 billion department store chain is taking a $400 million short-term loan from ESL Investments, a firm headed by Eddie Lampert, who also happens to be Sears' CEO and biggest shareholder. The loan matures at the end of the year, but can be extended for two additional months.
Technically speaking, Sears' liquidity grab is pummeling shares. SHLD broke below prior support at $32.50 in yesterday's session, and we're seeing a big-volume continuation today with Sears' nearly 3% drop. $27.50 is the next-lowest support level to watch in Sears right now, but buyers would do well not to anticipate a bounce there. SHLD has broken through price floors all year long; I'd suggest waiting for some semblance of support to enter this stock again before jumping in.
To see these stocks in action, check out the at Most-Active Stocks portfolio on Stockpickr.
-- Written by Jonas Elmerraji in Baltimore.