Advance Auto Parts Inc. (AAP) stock trades up, “Neutral” rating reiterated by Robert W. Baird Analysts

Advance Auto Parts Inc. (NYSE: AAP) shares rose on Thursday Nov 17 with lower trade volume than normal after a number of analysts weighed in on the investing value of the stock and reiterated thier respective ratings.

Meanwhile, stocks opened flat this morning, struggling for direction in early trade ahead of congressional testimony by Federal Reserve Chairwoman Janet Yellen. Ahead of an appearance before the Joint Economic Committee, Yellen said an interest-rate hike could come “relatively soon,”

The S&P 500 SPX, +0.25% fell less than 0.1% to 2,176.85 while Dow Industrials DJIA, -0.05% fell 9 points to 18,858. The Nasdaq Composite COMP, +0.18% declined 0.1% to 5,291.48.

Robert W. Baird analysts reiterated its Neutral rating on Advance Auto Parts Inc. (NYSE: AAP) in a note to investors, making it one of the more closely watched stocks on Wall Street. Robert W. Baird currently has a rating of Neutral on the shares. The one-year price target of $167.32 is above the opening price of $163.44, causing a fair amount of other analysts to comment on the company recently. Looking back over the last 52 weeks, Advance Auto Parts Inc. stock has a high of $172.87. Usually, after analysts issue a “reiterated rating” report on a stock, they will later issue recurring updates, such as a price target change.

Shares of Advance Auto Parts Inc. (NYSE: AAP) opened at $163.44 on Monday and traded in a range between, $162.34 and $165.41, and last traded at $164.68, which represents an increase of $1.70 or 1.04% from the previous closing price.

Advance Auto Parts Inc. (NYSE: AAP) now has a market cap of 12.12B.

Advance Auto Parts Inc. (NYSE: AAP) Average Daily Trading Volume

143,585 shares traded hands yesterday, lower than normal, out of a total float 65,504,000. Trading volume is likely to increase in the next few days as swing traders often use swings in trading volume to pinpoint substantial volume accumulation or dissemination by institutional investors.

However, one day of high volume buy side trading is not enough to determine a trend. As such, market traders will continue to watch for institutional sponsorship as a cue that financial institutions are moving forward.

Institutional sponsorship simply refers to ownership of a stock by mutual funds, banks, pension funds and other large institutions.

Institutional investors such as these retain substantial teams of analysts researching thousands of stocks. Thus, watching their interests is a good way to make sure you are buying the right stocks.

Advance Auto Parts Inc. (NYSE: AAP) 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 tracking the activity of these professional investors—and the moving averages they influence— traders can make smarter trades.

With that in mind, Advance Auto Parts Inc. (NYSE: AAP) now has a 50-day MA of $144.72 and 200-day MA of $153.88. It has traded in a 52-week range between $131.59 – 172.87 and today’s last price is 4.74%% lower than the 52 week high of $172.87.

Indeed, earnings growth is among the most critical things to look at in regards to stock investing and, accordingly, investors look for companies that have grown their earnings at least 25% or more over a 3 year period.

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