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.
Nearest Resistance: $120
Nearest Support: $110
Catalyst: Q1 Earnings
Apple (AAPL - Get Report) rallied 5.65% by the time the closing bell rang yesterday, boosted by stellar first-quarter earnings. The Cupertino, Calif.-based tech giant posted its biggest quarter of iPhone sales in company history, as consumers snatched up the firm's larger form factor iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus. Likewise, China provided strong sales increases for Apple despite economic concerns. All told AAPL ended the quarter with profits of $3.06 per share, beating analysts' $2.60 consensus estimate.
From a technical standpoint, yesterday's big pop in Apple isn't surprising. Shares have been bouncing their way higher in a well-defined uptrend, and today's gap higher actually keeps things on the lower end of Apple's likely range. Resistance at $120 shouldn't put up too much of a fight. Look for new highs in February.
Nearest Resistance: $51
Nearest Support: $46
Catalyst: Q4 Earnings, Spinoff
Search company Yahoo! (YHOO) slid just over 3% on Wednesday's session, drummed lower by lackluster fourth-quarter earnings and tumult in Alibaba (BABA) . Yahoo earned adjusted profits of 30 cents per share, but the earnings call came with lowered expectations on display ads for 2015 and concerns that Yahoo! ex-Alibaba isn't such an attractive name after all. The firm plans to spin out its Alibaba stake to investors in a tax-free transaction valued at $40 billion. That adds up to around 90% of Yahoo's market capitalization at current levels.
Yahoo!'s chart is pointed down and to the right, which is not a particularly compelling technical picture. Shares are likely to retrace within their channel in the coming sessions.
Nearest Resistance: $45
Nearest Support: $42
Catalyst: Earnings Hangover
Microsoft (MSFT - Get Report) is another huge tech name that's drawing big trading volume this week. Even though investors have had time to digest Monday's earnings miss, the hangover of MSFT's big gap down on Tuesday morning continues to attract trading volume.
While shares have caught a bid at $42 support, investors should be wary of the possibility that buyers disappear from that level too. Below $42, the next semblance of decent support comes in at $40.
-- Written by Jonas Elmerraji in Baltimore.