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.

Dan Dzombak's musings and articles he finds interesting can be found on his Twitter account: @DanDzombak. He does not own any of the stocks mentioned in this article.

Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.