Keep an eye on these actively traded stocks.
Just over a third of the way through 2022, this calendar year has proven to be a challenge for many investors. In April, Wall Street suffered its single worst month since the pandemic-induced sell-off of March 2020, as markets came to terms with the most aggressive Federal Reserve interest rate hiking cycle in decades. Coupled with high inflation and supply chain bottlenecks, 2022 looks like a painful year of secular changes to market dynamics, with value gaining ground against growth and energy overcoming tech as the hottest sector. With so much sudden change, traders are repositioning rapidly. What are the most active stocks on the market by trading volume? More important, should you be investing in these stocks? Here are eight of the highest-volume stocks to watch.
Advanced Micro Devices Inc. (ticker: AMD)
Santa Clara, California-based chipmaker AMD is first among the most active stocks to watch. Considering its most recent quarter, it makes sense investors are trading AMD so aggressively: Even without counting the sales from its February acquisition of Xilinx, the semiconductor manufacturer reported a 55% year-over-year revenue increase. This year, analysts expect revenue growth of about 60% before growth cools down to 14% in 2023. Through early May, AMD is down so far in 2022, but it is up about 20% in the past year and has been one of the hottest stocks in the past five years as it gains on rivals like Intel Corp. (INTC), especially in the server processor business.
Average daily volume (trailing 3 months): 108 million
Apple Inc. (AAPL)
Apple is the most valuable company that’s publicly traded on U.S. exchanges, and it’s no accident that Apple happens to be one of the most heavily traded stocks on the market, as well. One of the most commonly held stocks by both individual investors and institutional investors, Apple stock is also a major weighting in all sorts of popular ETFs, including the SPDR S&P 500 ETF Trust (SPY), where Apple is the largest holding, making up 5.9% of the portfolio. SPY itself trades about 109 million shares per day. Although Apple has been struggling in 2022, down 13% through May 10, the iPhone maker is still one of the most solid blue-chip tech stocks to buy today.
Average daily volume (trailing 3 months): 92 million
Nio Inc. (NIO)
Nio, one of a handful of upstart electric vehicle companies aiming to compete with Tesla Inc. (TSLA), has been one of the most actively traded stocks on Wall Street over the past few months. Not only has Nio been a beneficiary of the hype around EVs and the increasing urgency of carbon-neutral transportation, but Nio also has a bit of an unfair advantage over stocks like AMD and AAPL, both of which regularly traded for more than $100 per share in 2022: Nio stock is much cheaper, currently going for less than $15 per share. Nio shares are off more than 57% for the year through May 10. Nio has been hit by supply chain snarls due to China’s zero-COVID policy, causing the young company to shut down production for a time — a crippling setback for a nascent, competitive business seeking to accelerate fast enough to earn its valuation, which still stands at about $23 billion.
Average daily volume (trailing 3 months): 72 million
Sundial Growers Inc. (SNDL)
Some readers might be surprised to see that the next member of this list is Sundial Growers, a somewhat obscure Canada-based cannabis company. This is the type of situation that can be misleading for investors seeking out the most active stocks on any given day, as SNDL trades at about 40 cents a pop. At the closing prices May 10, an investor could purchase 380 shares of SNDL for every one Apple share, making it clear that Sundial’s massive trading volume should be judged on a curve. While certainly an active stock, SNDL isn’t necessarily a good buy: Shares trade at about 20 times revenue, and last year’s income statement is a horror show. In 2021, the company managed to lose $232 million on $56 million in revenue.
Average daily volume (trailing 3 months): 100 million
Itau Unibanco Holding SA (ITUB)
Brazilian bank stock Itau Unibanco is another potentially surprising member of the most active stocks list, with roughly the same average daily trading volume as American financial behemoth Bank of America Corp. (BAC). The stock has been on a somewhat rocky path over the last several months, but shares are up nearly 20% year to date, offering investors a nice reprieve from the broader market, where the S&P 500 is down more than 16% through May 10. With prices of commodities soaring this year, the largely commodity-dependent Brazilian economy is poised to do well as inflation runs its course, while this year’s presidential elections could bring more political certainty to the region.
Average daily volume (trailing 3 months): 49 million
Twitter Inc. (TWTR)
It’s no secret how Twitter became one of the most actively traded stocks on the market. Tesla CEO Elon Musk began buying up shares of the social media network in March, building a position of 73.5 million shares, or a 9.2% stake. In April, when that move was revealed, it sparked frenzied trading, with 268 million shares changing hands on the first trading day after the announcement — more than 20 times the 12 million shares exchanged just one trading day before. Musk has since reached an agreement with the board to take Twitter private for $54.20 per share, and with the stock closing at $47.96 on May 9, there’s still more than 11% upside to be had if the deal closes. The deal, assuming it doesn’t fall through, would be expected to close in late 2022. Recently, even Berkshire Hathaway Inc. (BRK.B, BRK.A) disclosed a position in Twitter, seeking to take advantage of merger arbitrage.
Average daily volume (trailing 3 months): 52 million
Nvidia Corp. (NVDA)
The second chipmaker on this list, the Santa Clara, California-based semiconductor giant Nvidia is another one of the most actively traded stocks over the last three months. Also one of the best growth stocks to buy in recent years, Nvidia has managed to eat away at established rivals’ market share along with AMD, and the company finds itself at the forefront of a number of exciting technological trends. Nvidia, with a market cap of about $440 billion, specializes in high-tech chips that are integral in promising industries like self-driving cars, artificial intelligence, the metaverse, gaming and big data. Although shares are down more than 40% year to date, that’s nothing out of the ordinary for large-cap growth stocks, and long-term investors should keep Nvidia on their watch lists.
Average daily volume (trailing 3 months): 56 million
Ford Motor Co. (F)
Last but not least is the legacy automaker Ford, which entered 2022 on a hot streak — it was one of the best-performing stocks in the S&P 500 in 2021 — but has suffered nothing but setbacks in its stock price thus far in 2022. Down about 35% this year, shares currently trade for just over $13, so that relatively low price helps with daily volume. There’s also a market-rotation aspect to Ford’s popularity in recent months, as investors shift resources from cyclical names to more defensive investments out of fears of an economic slowdown. That said, after the early 2022 pullback, Ford shares look like an out-and-out steal, trading for just 7 times forward earnings. Despite taking in more than twice the revenue Tesla does, Ford is worth $53 billion, while Tesla is valued at over $820 billion.
Average daily volume (trailing 3 months): 73 million
8 of the most active stocks to watch:
— Advanced Micro Devices Inc. (AMD)
— Apple Inc. (AAPL)
— Nio Inc. (NIO)
— Sundial Growers Inc. (SNDL)
— Itau Unibanco Holding SA (ITUB)
— Twitter Inc. (TWTR)
— Nvidia Corp. (NVDA)
— Ford Motor Co. (F)
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Update 05/11/22: This story was published at an earlier date and has been updated with new information.