People watch stocks for different reasons -- they're waiting for a dip in price, watching for a specific catalyst, gathering all the news and information that might affect stocks they already own, or considering a sell. Regardless of their motivation, we can better understand market sentiment by seeing who's watching what. With the Fool's free My Watchlist service, we have tens of thousands of people telling us the businesses that have, for whatever reason, piqued their interest.
With this data we have come up with a new metric, watch interest, to inform investors what stocks their peers keep tabs on in each industry. In the case of the thrift and mortgage finance industry, watch interest is the percentage of people keeping an eye on thrift and mortgage finance stocks in general who are specifically watching each company. By looking at what stocks people are most interested in an industry, you can get ahead of the curve by finding hot stocks that you might have otherwise overlooked. The industry has been recovering from the debt crisis the past few years, though some analysts are worried mortgage finance companies are beginning to repeat the same mistakes that got them in so much trouble.
The most-watched thrift and mortgage finance stock is...Looking at the aggregate data, we see that Hudson City Bancorp (NAS: HCBK) is above the rest in terms of watch interest and for good reason. As CAPS player brooer wrote in March:
Good management team allowed Hudson to weather the banking crisis better than most. Current problems temporary. Five to ten years down the road those who invest now may be handsomely rewarded.
Here are the rest of the top 15 most-watched companies in the industry with their watch interest along with the stocks' CAPS rating to show the sentiment of our investing community.
Market Cap (millions)
CAPS Rating (out of 5)
Hudson City Bancorp
Flagstar Bancorp (NYS: FBC)
PMI Group (NYS: PMI)
New York Community Bancorp (NYS: NYB)
People's United Financial (NAS: PBCT)
Radian Group (NYS: RDN)
First Niagara Financial Group (NAS: FNFG)
MGIC Investment (NYS: MTG)
Doral Financial (NYS: DRL)
Capitol Federal Financial (NAS: CFFN)
TrustCo Bank Corp. NY (NAS: TRST)
First Financial Northwest (NAS: FFNW)
Northwest Bancshares (NAS: NWBI)
Home Federal Bancorp (NAS: HOME)
Federal Agricultural Mortgage (NYS: AGM)
Source: Motley Fool, Motley Fool CAPS.
Whether you're keeping an eye on the industry stalwarts like New York Community Bancorp or are watching an up-and-comer like First Financial Northwest, it pays to watch. We can help you keep tabs on your companies with My Watchlist, our free, personalized stock tracking service. Click here to start now.
At the time thisarticle was published Dan Dzombak'smusings and articles he finds interesting can be found on his Twitter account:@DanDzombak.Try any of our Foolish newsletter servicesfree for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe thatconsidering a diverse range of insightsmakes us better investors. The Motley Fool has adisclosure policy.
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