3M Co. (MMM) Shares Slip, Investors Watching Closely, Here is Why

3M Co. (NYSE: MMM) shares fell on Monday Nov 21 with lower trade volume than normal after a number of analysts weighed in on the investing value of the stock with a downgraded rating.

Meanwhile, stocks were set to open up this morning. The Dow Jones Industrial Average futures YMZ6, +0.20% was 10 points, or less than 0.1%, higher at 18,863, while S&P 500 index futures ESZ6, +0.44% rose 3.95 points, or 0.2%, at 2,184.75. Nasdaq-100 NQZ6, +0.74% added 12.25 points, or 0.2%, to 4,820.75.

Analysts at Goldman Sachs Group Inc. downgraded shares of 3M Co. (NYSE: MMM) from Neutral to Sell in a research note to investors today. With a rating of Sell on the stock, 3M Co. has a 52-week high of $182.27. The one-year price target of $179.20 is higher than the opening price of $171.42, causing a number of other analysts to issue statements on the company recently. Downgrades occur when analysts feel that the future prospects for the security have weakened from the initial recommendation, often because of a considerable and fundamental change in the company’s operations, future vision or industry.

Shares of 3M Co. (NYSE: MMM) opened at $171.42 on Monday and traded in a range between, $171.25 and $171.98, and last traded at $171.25, a decrease of $1.71 per share or -0.99% compared to the previous closing price.

3M Co. (NYSE: MMM) currently has a market cap of 103.00B.

3M Co. (NYSE: MMM) Average Daily Trading Volume

295,525 shares crossed the trading desk yesterday, below the norm, out of a total float 601,063,000. Swing traders often use increases in trading volume to determine heavy volume accumulation or distribution by institutional investors, so look for trading volume to pick up in the coming days.

As with all possible breakouts, investors look for volume to be at least 40%-50% above normal on the breakout to indicate that fund managers and other professional investors are jumping in.

Institutional sponsorship is defined by ownership of a stock by mutual funds, banks, pension funds and other large institutions.

These professional investors have teams of analysts researching thousands of stocks. So watching their interests is a good way to ensure you are buying the right stocks.

3M Co. (NYSE: MMM) Moving Averages

A moving average can also act as support or resistance. In an uptrend a 50-day, 100-day or 200-day moving average may act as a support level, as shown in the figure below.

This is because the average acts like a floor (support), so the price bounces up off of it.

In a downtrend a moving average may act as resistance; like a ceiling, the price hits it and then starts to drop again.

By marking the activity of these professional investors—and the moving averages they affect—it allows for traders to make more useful judgments on trades.

With that in mind, 3M Co. (NYSE: MMM) now has a 50-day MA of $170.23 and 200-day MA of $173.63. It has traded in a 52-week range between $134.64 – 182.27 and today’s last price is 6.05%% lower than the 52 week high of $182.27.

Earnings growth is a critical factor to consider when investing in stocks and investors identify companies that have increased their earnings at least 25% or more over 3 consecutive years.

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