Stock Quotes in this Article: AMZN, APC, CSTR, ESRX, SOHU, YUM, HCA

 BALTIMORE (Stockpickr) -- Forget the traditional ways 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.

>>5 Stocks Set to Soar on Bullish Earnings

While some fund managers are already trying to leverage social media resources such as Twitter to find algorithmic trading opportunities, for most investors, crowdsourcing works best as a starting point for traders who want a starting point in their analysis.

Today, we’ll leverage the power of the crowd to take a look at seven of the highest-trending stock searches on Google.
With earnings season in full swing this week, you can bet that earnings names are dominating today’s list. Here’s a look at how these most searched names are trading technically.

Coinstar

Nearest Resistance: $67

Nearest Support: $60

Catalyst: Positive Earnings, Verizon and NCR Deals

Coinstar (CSTR) is one of the day’s biggest gainers, buoyed by a combination of strong earnings and a major deals that stands to pit the firm against Netflix (NFLX). The electronic kiosk firm announced profits of $1 per share for the fourth quarter of 2011, increasing the company’s bottom line by double-digits versus its previous year.

Coinstar's proposed joint venture with Verizon (VZ) is also getting plenty of analyst attention. Because of Coinstar’s limited scale, it would be a more financially impactful deal for the kiosk firm than for the utility. To further the deal, Coinstar announced that it was buying NCR’s (NCR) movie kiosk assets to add 9,000 new locations to Coinstar’s existing Redbox infrastructure.

Shares of Coinstar swung wildly on news of the Verizon deal, but they gapped up hard at this morning’s open on the earnings news, clearing two important resistance levels that had previously acted as barriers to share price. Investors should expect some consolidation above $60 support in the near-term before this stock attempts to test an all-time high just above $67.

Coinstar is one of TheStreet Ratings' consumer services stocks.

HCA Holdings

Nearest Resistance: $32.50

Nearest Support: $27

Catalyst: Positive Earnings

Another important breakout came from hospital operator HCA Holdings (HCA), which broke out yesterday on strong volume following positive earnings surprise announced in yesterday’s earnings call. Shares gapped up in yesterday’s session, and they’re confirming that breakout today.

HCA had been forming an ascending triangle bottom in shares since the beginning of August, a setup that’s bounded by horizontal resistance and uptrending support. Because that horizontal $27 resistance level got busted on yesterday’s gap up, traders have a strong buy signal in place today.

If you take this trade, I’d recommend a protective stop just below the 200-day moving average.

HCA shows up on a list of 7 Health Care Stocks for 2012.

Anadarko Petroleum

Nearest Resistance: N/A

Nearest Support: $84.75

Catalyst: Positive Earnings

No surprise, Anadarko Petroleum (APC) is another name that’s getting considerable search volume today, following the company’s positive fourth quarter earnings surprise. The firm announced net income of 85 cents per share this morning, beating Wall Street’s consensus estimate by around 40%.

While APC’s performance is no surprise, the setup in this stock may be. Traders should be paying attention to the multi-time frame breakout shaping up in this stock.

Anadarko is pushing above resistance today, shoving its way above the glut of supply of APC shares that previously existed above the $84.75 level. On daily, weekly and monthly timeframes, Anadarko is forming a bullish ascending triangle setup -- a pattern that has added upside implications because of the fractal nature of this setup.

It makes technical sense to be a buyer of Anadarko here; a protective stop below the 50-day moving average is a wise risk-mitigation strategy.

Anadarko shows up on a list of 10 Energy Stocks for 2012.

Sohu.com

Nearest Resistance: $64

Nearest Support: $46

Catalyst: Weak Outlook

Meanwhile, Chinese internet giant Sohu.com (SOHU) is a big outlier this week, with shares moving more than 15% lower after the company posted weaker than expected outlook for the first quarter of 2012 yesterday. To be fair, SOHU’s earnings for the previous quarter were in line with analysts’ expectations, the company earning 65 cents per share, but the outlook had yet to be priced in by investors today.

While SOHU had been testing resistance for the past few days, the outlook news drove shares back down into the range that they’ve been stuck in for the last several months. Traders should approach SOHU like an if/then setup with resistance at $64 and support at $46. Wait for a break outside of that wide channel, then take a position in the direction of the breakout when it happens.

Sohu.com shows up on lists of 10 BRIC Stocks for 2012 and Best Chinese Stocks for 2012.

Express Scripts

Nearest Resistance: $32.50

Nearest Support: $27

Catalyst: Potential Merger Block

Express Scripts (ESRX) moved almost 5% lower yesterday after rumors emerged the Federal Trade Commission could be gathering support to block the planned merger between ESRX and Medco Health Solutions (MHS). Any action from the FTC is expected to take place in the next month -- but timing was particularly dangerous for ESRX yesterday because it coincided with the pricing announcement for $3.5 billion worth of notes to help pay for the merger.

Even though shares swung wildly in yesterday’s session, Express Scripts’ uptrend hasn’t been broken as a result of the rumor. Shares are consolidating this afternoon, an indication that traders are taking the rumors in stride.

Headline risk is high for ESRX in the short-term. It makes sense to sit on the sidelines of this name.

Express Scripts, one of 8 Big Acquirers of 2011, shows up on a recent list of 8 UBS Stock Picks for 2012.

Amazon.com

Nearest Resistance: $196

Nearest Support: $170

Catalyst: Retail Store Launch

Online retail behemoth Amazon.com (AMZN) is getting outsized search attention following news that the firm would be opening its first brick-and-mortar retail location in Seattle in the next few months. The new store would serve as a sort of proof-of-concept for additional potential locations.

Analysts are already comparing the initiative to Apple’s (AAPL) wildly successful retail stores -- but the jury’s still out on whether that comparison is justified.

Amazon’s technicals could look better right now. In the medium-term, shares are looking overtly bearish, with a complex head and shoulders top formation shaping up in AMZN. A breakdown below $170 support would be a signal to look at Amazon as a short candidate; a push above $196 resistance would wipe out the bearish bent to shares.

Until one of those conditions gets met, I wouldn’t recommend making a trade on this stock.

I also featured Amazon recently in "5 Popular Twitter Stocks to Trade for Gains." One of the Top 10 Stocks of the Past Decade, it shows up on a list of the Best Growth Stocks for 2012.

Yum! Brands

Nearest Resistance: N/A

Nearest Support: $63

Catalyst: Positive Earnings

Strong earnings numbers are pushing fast food restaurant chain Yum! Brands (YUM) to a new all-time high today, even as the broad market sits fairly flat on investor ennui. Yum! owns a deep portfolio of restaurant names that includes KFC, Pizza Hut, and Taco Bell -- in total, the firm boasts more than 37,000 locations spread across 110 countries. It announced earnings of 75 cents per share this morning, boosting sentiment by enough to send shares above a previous resistance level.

Not that upside is anything new for YUM in 2012. Shares have rallied double-digits so far this year, following a major breakout about $56 resistance back in December.

At this point, shares of YUM remain definitively in rally mode. In the short-term, that could put YUM at risk of getting overbought. Investors looking to build a position in this stock would do well to wait for a throwback to support to get a lower-risk entry.

Yum! is one of TheStreet Ratings' top-rated restaurant stocks.

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

-- Written by Jonas Elmerraji in Baltimore.

RELATED LINKS:

>>5 Rocket Stocks to Buy for February
>>8 Stocks Hitting New 52-Week Highs

>>5 Eurozone Technical Setups for Breakout Gains

Follow Stockpickr on Twitter and become a fan on Facebook.

At the time of publication, author had no positions in stocks mentioned.

Jonas Elmerraji, based out of Baltimore, is the editor and portfolio manager of the Rhino Stock Report, a free investment advisory that returned 15% in 2008. He is a contributor to numerous financial outlets, including Forbes and Investopedia, and has been featured in Investor's Business Daily, in Consumer's Digest and on MSNBC.com.