Stock Quotes in this Article: ALU, DELL, MU, S, ZNGA

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.

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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.

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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.

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Nearest Resistance: $1.80

Nearest Support: $1.55

Catalyst: Earnings Miss

Alcatel-Lucent (ALU) is getting hit hard following its earnings call; as I write, shares of ALU are down more than 7.6% on the day. The firm’s 60.5-cent fourth-quarter loss was about twice as deep as analysts had expected, and today’s selling likely brings an end to the uptrend that shareholders had been enjoying in the Paris-based communications firm.

Today’s big red candle on ALU’s chart is a big deal. It’s sending shares back down to a support level from the end of January. That last test was an indication that demand for shares is wearing at $1.80 -- a breakdown below $1.55 support is a signal that this stock is making a double top pattern. If that happens, I’d recommend being a seller.


Nearest Resistance: $5.80

Nearest Support: $5.55

Catalyst: Earnings

Sprint (S) is another communications name that reported a big fourth-quarter loss today; it burned $1.3 billion for the quarter. The key difference is that Sprint’s pending majority stake purchase from Softbank helps to mute a lot of the risk in shares of the nation’s third-largest cellular phone carrier.

A quick glimpse at Sprint’s stock chart does a good job of showing that too. Even though shares are off by around 1.1% today, that sort of price action has been par for the course lately; shares are just moving sideways right now. That said, headline risk is still really high in Sprint; if the firm’s transaction for 70% of shares hits a snag, it could instantly erode some huge value for S. If you’re looking for a trade in the sector, look elsewhere in February.


Nearest Resistance: $13.65

Nearest Support: $12.50

Catalyst: Going Private Transaction

Sideways is a direction that Dell (DELL) shareholders need to get used to. After founder Michael Dell announced that he was raising the cash to take the firm private, this stock has traded in a relatively tight range. And now that more specifics have come out about the deal, it’s unlikely we’ll see much more volatility in shares of this computer giant. DELL has a tiny risk premium still factored into shares, but it’s unlikely to be a very lucrative arbitrage opportunity; like Sprint, there’s a lot of headline risk in this stock.

Since the deal price is $13.65 per share, that price is going to act as a pretty hard resistance level for now. That means that there isn’t a trade to be made in this name right now…

Micron Technology

Nearest Resistance: $8

Nearest Support: $7.50

Catalyst: Note Pricing

Trading volume is ticking up in shares of Micron Technology (MU) today after the firm announced pricing for a $270 million note offering that will come due in 2033. That note makes up one series of the $440 million that MU is planning to raise in the dirt cheap corporate debt market. Shares are off around 3% after pushing up by the same amount in yesterday’s market session.

From a technical standpoint, the news isn’t all that material -- shares of the flash memory firm are consolidating sideways this week after staging a big leg higher. The big levels to watch right now are resistance at $8 and support at $7.50. If MU breaks out of that range, a continuation in the direction of the breakout looks likely.


Nearest Resistance: $3.25

Nearest Support: $2.80

Catalyst: Surprise Profit

Social game maker Zynga (ZNGA) is actually enjoying some upside today (to the tune of 2%), after Tuesday night’s earnings brought shareholders a surprise 1-cent profit. Investors are celebrating by piling on positions in the stock yesterday and today. But that doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s wise to join the crowd on this one.

For starters, Zynga still has some big problems that aren’t cured by that penny-per-share profit. Zynga may not be the garbage that investors thought it was last week, but it’s still not a fundamentally attractive name.

On the technical side, Zynga is essentially mid-way between resistance and support right now, a fact that doesn’t exactly scream “high probability trading opportunities.” If Zynga can overcome its last swing high at $3.25 from 2012, then this stock may have some more upside ahead of it, but until then, don’t underestimate the sellers still hanging out at that price.

To see these stocks in action, check out the at Most-Active Stocks portfolio on Stockpickr.

-- Written by Jonas Elmerraji in Baltimore.


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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 Jonas holds a degree in financial economics from UMBC and the Chartered Market Technician designation.