KLA-Tencor Corp. (KLAC) Shares Tick Up after Upgrade at Needham & Company LLC

KLA-Tencor Corp. (NASDAQ: KLAC) shares rose in value Wednesday Dec 14 with lower 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. equities traded mostly lower on Wednesday as investors awaited the Federal Reserve’s latest decision regarding monetary policy.

The Dow Jones industrial average traded 35 points lower, with Goldman Sachs contributing the most losses. The S&P 500 traded 0.1 percent lower, with financials leading decliners. The Nasdaq composite, meanwhile, held flat.

Analysts at Needham & Company LLC upgraded shares of KLA-Tencor Corp. (NASDAQ: KLAC) from Buy to Strong-Buy today. The company currently has a rating of Strong-Buy on the shares. The one-year price target of $78.32 is a decrease compared to the opening price of $79.33, resulting a fair amount of other analysts to comment on the stock in recent days. Looking back over the last 52 weeks, KLA-Tencor Corp. stock has a high of $83.23. Share prices often shift to the upside on recommendations and new price targets of professional analysts.

KLA-Tencor Corp. (NASDAQ: KLAC) shares last traded at $79.80, which is a jump of $1.83 or 2.35% compared to the previous closing price. Opening at $79.33, they fluctuated from $79.25 and $80.45 throughout the day.

KLA-Tencor Corp. (NASDAQ: KLAC) now has a market cap of 12.47B.

KLA-Tencor Corp. (NASDAQ: KLAC) Average Daily Trading Volume

The stock’s average daily volume is 2,273,570 shares out of a total float 155,826,000 and some 444,674 shares crossed the trading desk yesterday, lower than the average. Momentum traders often use swings in trading volume to identify large volume aggregation or distribution by institutional investors, so trading volume is likely to increase in the next few days.

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

Institutional sponsorship simply refers to ownership of a stock by mutual funds, banks, pension funds and other large institutions.

Professional investors such as these retain teams of analysts that research thousands of stocks. So watching their interests is a good way to make sure you are buying the right stocks.

KLA-Tencor Corp. (NASDAQ: KLAC) 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, KLA-Tencor Corp. (NASDAQ: KLAC) now has a 50-day MA of $77.40 and 200-day MA of $73.54. It has traded in a 52-week range between $62.33 – 83.23 and today’s last price is 4.12%% lower than the 52 week high of $83.23.

Earnings growth is an important factor to consider when investing in stocks and investors seek companies that have grown their earnings by at least 25% over 3 consecutive years.

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