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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.
These "most active" names are the most heavily-traded names on the market -- and often, uber-active names have some sort of a technical or fundamental catalyst driving investors' attention on shares. That's especially true now that earnings season is officially underway. And when there's a big catalyst, there's often a trading opportunity.
Without further ado, here's a look at today's stocks.
Nearest Resistance: $47
Nearest Support: $45
Catalyst: Q2 Earnings
Industrial supplier Fastenal (FAST) saw high trading volume this week after the firm announced its second-quarter earnings numbers on Monday. FAST earned 41 cents for the quarter, more or less in line with consensus estimates. Fastenal also posted store growth for the quarter, increasing its brick-and-mortar locations by 22 stores.
While Fastenal's trading volume ticked higher, its price didn't do a whole lot this past week -- but it's setting up for a move substantive move. FAST has been forming an ascending triangle bottom for the past few weeks, with resistance at $47. Investors should look at a move above the $47 as a signal to jump into shares.
Family Dollar Stores
Nearest Resistance: N/A
Nearest Support: $65
Catalyst: Q3 Earnings
Family Dollar Stores (FDO) posted some earnings data of its own this week, earning $1.05 for its fiscal third quarter. Wall Street had been expecting earnings of $1.03. The numbers were well received by investors, who bid shares up significantly at Wednesday's open, shoving the stock through a resistance level that had been keeping FDO restrained for the last few months. The news has the stock at a new 52-week high.
Making new highs is significant from an investor psychology standpoint because it means that everyone who has bought shares in the last year is sitting on gains. As a result, the "back to even" mentality is less of a concern than it would be for a name with a higher proportion of shareholders sitting on losses. Investors who aren't risk-averse can consider putting on a position here.
For another take on Family Dollar, check out "5 Hated Earnings Stocks That You Should Love."
Nearest Resistance: $17.50
Nearest Support: $16
Catalyst: Technical Setup
Duke Realty (DRE) was another breakout name from this past week, after getting buoyed by some analyst comments. But it's this stock's technical setup that gave it the momentum for yesterday's 3% move. For the last month, Duke has been forming an inverse head and shoulders pattern, with a neckline level at $16. When shares moved through that level on Wednesday, the combination of bullish analysts and Ben Bernanke's comments helped fuel yesterday's gap higher.
From here, more upside looks likely, particularly because there isn't any noticeable resistance for DRE to hit until $17.50. If you decide to jump in here, just keep a tight stop at the 200-day moving average.
Nu Skin Enterprises
Nearest Resistance: $80
Nearest Support: $62.50
Catalyst: Guidance Boost
It's been quite a week for Nu Skin Enterprises (NUS); shares of the $4.5 billion direct sales firm have rallied 21% since Monday, slingshotted higher by an increased second quarter outlook that surprised Wall Street. That increased guidance increased earnings expectations substantially, spurred on in large part by success in Asian markets. Nu Skin reports its official numbers on July 22.
From a technical standpoint, the move in NUS completes an ascending triangle that's been in play since it broke out five trading sessions ago. With supply of shares practically nonexistent above $62.50, NUS got plenty of room to run higher. After yesterday's small correction, I'd recommend waiting for shares to find some semblance of support again before taking a position.
To see these stocks in action, check out the at Most-Active Stocks portfolio on Stockpickr.
-- Written by Jonas Elmerraji in Baltimore.
At the time of publication, author had no positions in stocks mentioned.
Jonas Elmerraji, CMT, is a senior market analyst at Agora Financial in Baltimore and a contributor to TheStreet. Before that, he managed a portfolio of stocks for an investment advisory returned 15% in 2008. He has been featured in Forbes , Investor's Business Daily, and on CNBC.com. Jonas holds a degree in financial economics from UMBC and the Chartered Market Technician designation.
Follow Jonas on Twitter @JonasElmerraji