ConocoPhillips (COP) Shares Tick Up after Upgrade at Howard Weil

ConocoPhillips (NYSE: COP) shares rose in value Thursday Dec 15 with slower trade volume than normal after a number of analysts weighed in on the investing value of the stock with a upgraded rating.

Analysts at Howard Weil upgraded shares of ConocoPhillips (NYSE: COP) from to Focus List today. Howard Weil currently has a rating of Focus List on the shares. As a means of comparison, a number of other analysts have commented on the company in recent days, and the company has secured a consensus one-year price target of $54.32, higher than the opening price of $51.12, a difference of 10.52 percent. ConocoPhillips stock has a 52-week high of $53.17. Stock prices sometimes get a boost to the upside when analysts upgrade a stock.

Shares of ConocoPhillips (NYSE: COP) opened at $51.12 on Tuesday and has traded in a range between, $50.58 and $51.66, and last traded at $51.62, which is a jump of $0.13 or 0.25% from the previous closing price.

ConocoPhillips (NYSE: COP) now has a market cap of 63.96B.

ConocoPhillips (NYSE: COP) Average Daily Trading Volume

The stock’s average daily volume is 8,443,650 shares out of a total float 1,237,924,000 and some 1,080,449 shares crossed the trading desk yesterday, lower than normal. Investors often use swings in trading volume to pinpoint heavy volume growth or distribution by institutional investors, so trading volume is likely to increase in the next few days.

While higher trading for one day will not mean much, however, a trend of heavy trading volume on the buy side over a period of days or weeks delivers a positive cue 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.

These instituitional investors have substantial teams of analysts that research thousands of stocks, so it is good corroboration to see them taking a postion in a stock you are researching.

ConocoPhillips (NYSE: COP) 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 identifying trends, moving averages allow traders to make those trends work in their favor and increase the number of successful trades.

Trades for ConocoPhillips (NYSE: COP) have ranged from $31.05 – 53.17, and the stock now has a 50-day MA of $46.17 and 200-day MA of $43.30. Today’s last price is 2.92%% below the 52 week high of $53.17.

Earnings growth is a critical factor to research when buying stocks and investors seek companies that have increased their earnings by at least 25% for a 3 year period.

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