Fastenal Co. (FAST) Shares Active after Upgrade at William Blair

Fastenal Co. (NASDAQ: FAST) shares rose in value Monday Dec 5 with slower trade volume than normal after a number of analysts weighed in on the investing value of the stock with a upgraded rating.

Meanwhile, the Dow Industrials on Monday opened at an all-time high as investors dismissed concerns about the outcome of Italy’s referendum on Sunday.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose DJIA, +0.41% 85 points, or 0.5%, at 19,260, the S&P 500 index SPX, +0.42% began trade 9 points, or 0.4%, higher at 2,201, while the Nasdaq Composite Index COMP, +0.43% advanced 27 points, or 0.5%, at 5,282.

Analysts at William Blair upgraded shares of Fastenal Co. (NASDAQ: FAST) from Market Perform to Outperform today. William Blair currently has a rating of Outperform on the shares. A number of other analysts have issued reports on the company in recent days, and the company has secured a consensus one-year price target of $41.89, lower than the opening price of $48.46, a difference of 8.59 percent. Fastenal Co. stock has a 52-week high of $49.99. Usually, after analysts issue an upgrade report on a stock, they will subsequently issue sporadic revisions, such as a price target change.

Shares of Fastenal Co. (NASDAQ: FAST) opened at $48.46 on Tuesday trading between $48.18 and $49.21, and last traded at $48.74, which represents a spike of $0.91 or 1.90% compared to the previous closing price.

Fastenal Co. (NASDAQ: FAST) currently has a market cap of 14.09B.

Fastenal Co. (NASDAQ: FAST) Average Daily Trading Volume

826,896 shares traded hands yesterday, lower than normal, out of a total float 287,945,000. Investors often use upticks in trading volume to determine large volume accumulation or distribution by institutional investors, so trading volume is likely to increase in the next few days.

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

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

These professional investors retain substantial teams of analysts that research thousands of stocks, so it is good corroboration to see them buying a stock you are considering.

Fastenal Co. (NASDAQ: FAST) 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 spotting trends, moving averages allow traders to make those trends work in their favor and increase the number of successful trades.

With that in mind, Fastenal Co. (NASDAQ: FAST) now has a 50-day MA of $41.34 and 200-day MA of $42.84. It has traded in a 52-week range between $35.10 – 49.99 and today’s last price is 2.50%% lower than the 52 week high of $49.99.

Indeed, earnings growth is among the most important things to look at in regards to stock investing and, accordingly, investors watch for companies that have raised their earnings by at least 25% for 3 consecutive years.

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