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 and market data 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.
Big picture, the Fed is very much in investors' cross-hairs Wednesday -- market participants are anticipating the central bank to announce a 0.25% hike to short-term interest rates. And that's having a direct effect on which stocks are seeing the most trading volume in today's session.
More importantly, those market-moving narratives are creating trading opportunities for investors who are paying attention.
So, we'll leverage the power of the crowd to take a look at some of the most active stocks on the market.
Financial Select Sector SPDR ETF
- Nearest Resistance: $25
- Nearest Support: $23.50
- Catalyst: Fed Meeting
If you want evidence that the Fed is driving investor behavior today, look no further than the most actively traded issue on the NYSE out the gate: the Financial Select Sector SPDR ETF (XLF) . XLF is one of the easiest ways for investors to get direct exposure to the financial sector, and the fact that it's seeing more active trading than components like Bank of America (BAC) , Citigroup (C) and JPMorgan Chase (JPM) signals that investors are trying to get broadly positioned ahead of the Fed.
But while XLF is correcting a bit Wednesday, the long-term trajectory of this ETF looks strong here. XLF has been holding onto its uptrend since July's lows, and shares are making another run for prior highs at $25. Put simply, if XLF can push through $25 resistance this summer, we've got a new buy signal in the financial sector. Importantly, this big ETF looks much more attractive from a technical standpoint than any of the individual banks it owns. Keep a close eye on how XLF behaves around the $25 level in June.
Worried about how to pay for your golden years? Ken Fisher, founder of Fisher Investments, and TheStreet's Jim Cramer will tell you what you need to know in a June 21 webinar on the market trends that are shaping retirement planning today. Register here for the event, which starts at 11 a.m. ET.
H&R Block Inc.
- Nearest Resistance: N/A
- Nearest Support: $27
- Catalyst: Q4 Earnings
Meanwhile, the Fed has nothing to do with the 10% pop in shares of H&R Block Inc. (HRB) this afternoon - this $6.25 billion tax prep stock is rallying after beating earnings estimates for the fourth quarter. H&R Block earned a profit of $3.76 per share during Q4, beating the $3.53 average best guess from Wall Street. That beat also spurred a series of analyst upgrades from BTIG, Morgan Stanley, Oppenheimer and a handful of other firms.
From a technical standpoint, H&R Block is in breakout-mode right now. Shares had been forming a pretty textbook example of an ascending triangle pattern, but that setup triggered with today's break through $27 resistance. While earnings were the catalyst for today's pop in shares, the technical setup had a lot to do with the size of the move. Put simply, there's more upside potential left in shares of H&R Block right now -- buyers are clearly in control of the price action now.
- Nearest Resistance: $55
- Nearest Support: $147
- Catalyst: Tech Stock Correction
Tech giant Facebook Inc. (FB) is seeing a big-volume day of its own this afternoon -- and the driver is totally technical. Shares have been getting attention in recent sessions, as Facebook has corrected alongside other major tech names. But that correction is beginning to look like it's played out at this point. More importantly, Facebook is showing major upside potential this summer.
Facebook has spent the last two months forming an ascending triangle pattern, the same price setup that triggered the breakout move in H&R Block. For Facebook, the major price level to keep an eye on is resistance up at $155. Simply put, if shares are able to catch a bid above that $155 high-water mark, we've got a strong indication that any selling pressure has been absorbed by buyers, and more upside is in store for Facebook this summer.
Brookdale Senior Living Inc.
- Nearest Resistance: $16
- Nearest Support: $14
- Catalyst: Acquisition Reports
Finally, $2.7 billion senior living community operator Brookdale Senior Living Inc. (BKD) is seeing major volume this afternoon, up more than 7% on reports that the firm is close to being acquired by Chinese investment firm Zhonghong Zhuoye Group. The purchase hasn't been finalized at this point, but reports have the total sale value at more than $4 billion according to unnamed sources.Brookdale has spent much of the last year in a well-defined downtrend, but that price trajectory is officially changing thanks to the acquisition rumors. That breakout means that Brookdale has more upside room to move ahead, from a technical standpoint at the same time reports have the buyout price potentially more than a billion dollars above where shares are valued now.