J.C. Penney Co. (JCP) Stock Up After Upgrade at Bank of America Corp.

J.C. Penney Co. (NYSE: JCP) shares rose in value Friday Dec 2 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, U.S. stocks edged lower on Friday, with major indexes on track for a weekly decline.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average DJIA, -0.14% fell 23 points, or 0.1%, to 19,169, while the S&P 500 SPX, +0.09% lost 1.2 point to 2,190, a move of less than 0.1%. The Nasdaq Composite COMP, -0.15% fell 5.3 points, or 0.1%, to 5,247.

Analysts at Bank of America Corp. upgraded shares of J.C. Penney Co. (NYSE: JCP) from Neutral to Buy today. With a rating of Buy on the stock, J.C. Penney Co. has a 52-week high of $11.99. As a means of comparison, a number of other analysts have commented on the company recently, and J.C. Penney Co. has earned a consensus one-year price target of $11.79, higher than the opening price of $9.93, a difference of 11.87 percent. Share prices sometimes get a jump to the upside when analysts upgrade a stock.

Shares of J.C. Penney Co. (NYSE: JCP) opened at $9.93 on Tuesday trading between $9.84 and $10.09, and last traded at $9.93, a jump of $0.40 or 4.15% compared to the previous closing price.

J.C. Penney Co. (NYSE: JCP) currently has a market cap of 3.05B.

J.C. Penney Co. (NYSE: JCP) Average Daily Trading Volume

The stock’s average daily volume is 15,022,400 shares out of a total float 290,356,000 and some 5,907,664 shares crossed the trading desk yesterday, lower than the average. Swing traders often use upticks in trading volume to pinpoint large volume aggregation or circulation by institutional investors, so trading volume is likely to increase in the next few days.

However, a single day of high volume buy side trading is not enough to affirm a trend. So market traders will continue to look for institutional sponsorship as an indicator that financial institutions are moving forward.

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 substantial teams of analysts researching thousands of stocks, so it is good corroboration to see them buying a stock you are researching.

J.C. Penney Co. (NYSE: JCP) 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 investors to make those trends work in their favor and increase the number of winning trades.

Trades for J.C. Penney Co. (NYSE: JCP) have ranged from $6.00 – 11.990, and the stock now has a 50-day MA of $8.87 and 200-day MA of $9.02. Today’s last price is 17.22%% below the 52 week high of $11.99.

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

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