How to Trade 4 of the Market's Most Active Stocks -- Buy, Sell or Hold?

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.

Intel

Nearest Resistance: $35.50
Nearest Support: $33
Catalyst: Altera Deal Talk

Semiconductor giant Intel  (INTC) is up just over 1% on big volume this afternoon, following reports that the firm is getting closer to the finish line on a deal to acquire programmable logic device maker Altera  (ALTR) for approximately $15 billion. Intel has publicly been in talks with Altera over a potential acquisition since March, and sources are saying that the official announcement could come at the start of next week.

Intel investors clearly like the Altera deal right now. Shares have been in an uptrend since a potential ALTR deal was first announced back in late March, and that uptrend is likely to propel Intel higher this summer. Investors looking to get in should wait for the next dip.

For another technical take on Intel, check out "Should You Be Buying Intel Now?"

Altera


Nearest Resistance: $50
Nearest Support: $48
Catalyst: Intel Acquisition Talks

The other side of the Intel trade is Altera  (ALTR), which is up 4.24% on big volume this afternoon as a result of the reports that the deal is nearly done. This stock has been in an uptrend of its own since March, but at this point, it's more of a "lottery ticket" than a high-probability technical trade.

Reports have pegged Intel's offer price as high as $54 per share, which would leave about 10% upside on the table as of this writing. That's hardly a guaranteed payout at this point, but for investors who aren't risk-averse, it might be worth a roll of the dice.

U.S. Oil Fund


Nearest Resistance: $22
Nearest Support: $19
Catalyst: Crude Oil Rally

The U.S. Oil Fund  (USO) ETF is seeing one of the highest trading volumes on the NYSE this afternoon, a move fueled by the pop in crude oil trading this afternoon. Spot crude prices are up more than 3.5% on the day as of this writing, enough to propel USO 2.76% higher than yesterday's close in this session.

Long-term USO looks "bottomy." Shares are forming a broad inverse head and shoulders that triggers a buy with a move above its $22 neckline level. While today's pop is pretty welcome for beaten-down energy sector investors, it's not enough to be technically meaningful just yet.

Bank of America


Nearest Resistance: $16.75
Nearest Support: $15.75
Catalyst: Technical Setup

Banking giant Bank of America  (BAC), a perennial big-volume stock, is worth taking a look at today for technical reasons. Since the start of the year, BAC has been forming an ascending triangle pattern, a bullish price setup that triggers with a push above $16.75 resistance.

Put simply, if BAC can crack $16.75, then a re-test of prior highs at $18 looks very likely. Shares are flirting with that big breakout level this week.

This article is commentary by an independent contributor. At the time of publication, the author was long ALTR.

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