Aflac Inc. (AFL) Stock Up After Upgrade at Vetr Inc.

Aflac Inc. (NYSE: AFL) shares rose in value Thursday Nov 17 with lighter trade volume than normal after a number of analysts weighed in on the investing value of the stock with a upgraded rating.

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.

Analysts at Vetr Inc. upgraded shares of Aflac Inc. (NYSE: AFL) from Hold to Buy today. With a rating of Buy on the shares, the company has a 52-week high of $74.50. A number of other analysts have commented on the stock recently, and Aflac Inc. has earned a consensus one-year price target of $72.08, above the opening price of $71.77, a difference of 9.95 percent. Share prices sometimes get a boost to the upside when analysts upgrade a stock.

Shares of Aflac Inc. (NYSE: AFL) opened at $71.77 on Monday and traded in a range between, $71.65 and $72.62, and last traded at $72.42, an increase of $0.59 or 0.82% over the previous closing price.

Aflac Inc. (NYSE: AFL) now has a market cap of 29.55B.

Aflac Inc. (NYSE: AFL) Average Daily Trading Volume

The stock’s average daily volume is 1,687,450 shares out of a total float 403,070,000 and some 82,110 shares crossed the trading desk yesterday, below normal. Look for trading volume to pick up in the coming days as swing traders often use increases in trading volume to determine substantial volume accumulation or circulation by institutional investors.

While an increase in trading for short periods will not mean much, however, a trend of heavy trading volume on the buy side over a period of days or weeks sends a positive signal to market traders that institutions may be moving in, so institutional sponsorship is crucial.

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

Professional investors such as these have teams of analysts that research thousands of stocks. Thus, watching their interests is a good way to ensure you are buying the right stocks.

Aflac Inc. (NYSE: AFL) 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.

Traders are able to make make well planned trades when they follow the trading habits of professional investors.

With that in mind, Aflac Inc. (NYSE: AFL) now has a 50-day MA of $70.72 and 200-day MA of $71.18. It has traded in a 52-week range between $54.57 – 74.50 and today’s last price is 2.79%% lower than the 52 week high of $74.50.

Indeed, earnings growth is among the most crucial things to look at in regards to stock investing and, accordingly, investors identify companies that have raised their earnings by at least 25% over the past 3 years.

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