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: $100
Nearest Support: $95
Catalyst: Q1 Earnings
Fast food chain McDonald's (MCD - Get Report) is breaking out today, up nearly 4% as of this writing, following the firm's first quarter earnings release. McDonalds' numbers came in more or less in-line with estimates, with the firm earning $1.01 in profit after one-time charges. Analysts had been looking for earnings to come in at $1.06 per share on average.
But the announcement that the firm is developing a turnaround plan that will be revealed on May 4 is what's spurring buying. Sentiment had been bearish about MCD's ability to attract customers amid increased competition from more upmarket quick service chains.
Technically speaking, MCD broke out of a bearish descending triangle that had started formed back at the end of February. That clears the way for a retest of prior highs at McDonald's round-number $100 resistance level. If MCD buyers can push this stock's price back into the triple-digits, it will unlock considerable upside room.
Nearest Resistance: $29
Nearest Support: $26.75
Catalyst: Q1 Earnings
Computer storage firm EMC (EMC) is up 2.77% on big volume this afternoon, boosted by its first-quarter earnings call. EMC earned profits of 31 cents per share, coming in a nickel shy of estimates.
That "miss" hasn't totally come as a shock -- analysts have been moving their targets lower in recent weeks, and market participants clearly expected the worst. Instead, shares are holding their breakout from the start of the week today, clearing the way for a move up to prior resistance up at $29. If you decide to be a buyer here, I'd recommend parking a stop on the other side of support at $26.
Nearest Resistance: $87.50
Nearest Support: $82
Catalyst: Technical Setup
Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba (BABA - Get Report) is getting more attention this afternoon, seeing high volume as shares continue to carve out a bottom. BABA has been in selloff mode cine last fall, tumbling more than 30% between November and today. But more recently, this stock has been catching a bid, bouncing its way higher in an ascending triangle pattern with resistance up at $87.50.
It's still early to be a buyer in BABA -- we need to see $87.50 get taken out by increasingly aggressive buyers before joining them becomes a high-probability trade. That said, it's a setup that's worth watching this week.
Nearest Resistance: $50
Nearest Support: $46
Catalyst: Q1 Earnings
Last up on the list of high-volume movers this afternoon is Abbott Laboratories (ABT - Get Report). Abbott reported its first-quarter earnings numbers this morning, with profits from continuing operations coming in at 47 cents per share, five cents ahead of analysts' estimates. Emerging markets were a big component of the earnings beat, and shares of ABT are moving 2% higher this afternoon as a result.
The whole healthcare sector has been a stellar performer in 2015, and ABT has been no exception. This stock is bouncing higher in its uptrending channel, giving investors a good opportunity to grab onto the momentum this afternoon. If you decide to get in on the ABT trade, I'd recommend parking a stop on the other side of $46 support.