East West Bancorp Inc. (EWBC) stock steady after being downgraded at Zacks Investment Research

East West Bancorp Inc. (NASDAQ: EWBC) 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 with a downgraded 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.

Shares of East West Bancorp Inc. (NASDAQ: EWBC) were downgraded by analysts at Zacks Investment Research in a note to their investors today. Zacks Investment Research currently has a rating of Hold on the stock. The one-year price target of $44.00 is a decrease compared to the opening price of $45.82, that has caused a fair amount of other analysts to issue statements on the company recently. Looking back over the last 52 weeks, East West Bancorp Inc. stock has a high of $47.18. Downgrades occur when analysts believe that the future prospects for the security have dropped from the initial recommendation, often because of a material and integral change in the company’s operations, future direction or industry.

East West Bancorp Inc. (NASDAQ: EWBC) shares last traded at $45.98, which represents an increase of $0.34 or 0.74% from the previous closing price. Opening at $45.82, they fluctuated from $45.52 and $46.10 throughout the day.

East West Bancorp Inc. (NASDAQ: EWBC) now has a market cap of 6,628.66B.

East West Bancorp Inc. (NASDAQ: EWBC) Average Daily Trading Volume

93,427 shares crossed the trading desk yesterday, below normal, out of a total float 142,774,000. Investors often use upticks in trading volume to determine large volume aggregation or circulation by institutional investors, so trading volume is likely to increase in the next few days.

As with all potential breakouts, investors look for volume to be at least 40%-50% higher than normal on the breakout to show 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.

Institutional investors such as these retain teams of analysts that research thousands of stocks, so it is good confirmation to see them buying a stock you’re researching.

East West Bancorp Inc. (NASDAQ: EWBC) 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 more effective judgments on trades when they follow the activity of professional investors.

Trades for East West Bancorp Inc. (NASDAQ: EWBC) have ranged from $27.25 – 47.18, and the stock now has a 50-day MA of $39.80 and 200-day MA of $36.78. Today’s last price is 2.54%% under the 52 week high of $47.18.

Earnings growth is a crucial factor to consider when investing in stocks and investors identify companies that have grown their earnings at least 25% or more over a 3 year period.

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