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.

The most-watched thrifts and mortgage finance stock is ...
Looking at the aggregate data, we see that Hudson City Bancorp (Nasdaq: HCBK) is above the rest in terms of watch interest, the percentage of people keeping an eye on thrifts and mortgage finance stocks in general who are specifically watching each company. And for good reason. As CAPS Member Brooer wrote last week:

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 fifteen 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 
(in millions)

CAPS Rating 
(out of 5)



Hudson City Bancorp $5,277 **** 20.9%


First Financial Northwest $108 *** 16.3%


PMI Group (NYSE: PMI) $424 ** 14.9%


New York Community Bancorp (NYSE: NYB) $7,626 ***** 5.8%


People's United Financial (Nasdaq: PBCT) $4,690 **** 5.0%


Flagstar Bancorp (NYSE: FBC) $797 ** 5.0%


First Niagara Financial Group $2,893 *** 4.6%


Radian Group (NYSE: RDN) $918 ** 3.5%


MGIC Investment $1,891 ** 2.9%


TrustCo Bank $479 *** 2.5%


BankAtlantic Bancorp (NYSE: BBX) $61 * 1.8%


Capitol Federal Financial $1,911 * 1.8%


Federal Agricultural Mortgage $191 *** 1.7%


Viewpoint Financial $462 ** 1.7%


Oritani Financial $714 * 1.0%

Source: Motley Fool, Motley Fool CAPS.

Whether you're keeping an eye on the industry stalwarts like Hudson City Bancorp or are watching an up-and-comer like Viewpoint Financial, 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.

This article represents the opinion of the writer, who may disagree with the “official” recommendation position of a Motley Fool premium advisory service. We’re motley! Questioning an investing thesis -- even one of our own -- helps us all think critically about investing and make decisions that help us become smarter, happier, and richer.