Kroger Co. (KR) Shares Tick Up after Upgrade at Piper Jaffray Cos.

Kroger Co. (NYSE: KR) shares rose in value Wednesday Dec 14 with lighter 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 Piper Jaffray Cos. upgraded shares of Kroger Co. (NYSE: KR) from Underweight to Neutral today. With a rating of Neutral on the stock, Kroger Co. has a 52-week high of $42.75. As a means of comparison, a number of other analysts have commented on the company in recent days, and Kroger Co. has secured a consensus one-year price target of $35.55, higher than the opening price of $34.70, a difference of 10.23 percent. Stock prices sometimes get a jump to the upside when analysts upgrade a stock.

Shares of Kroger Co. (NYSE: KR) opened at $34.70 on Tuesday and has traded in a range between, $34.60 and $35.15, and last traded at $34.76, a jump of $0.34 or 0.99% from the previous closing price.

Kroger Co. (NYSE: KR) currently has a market cap of 32.47B.

Kroger Co. (NYSE: KR) Average Daily Trading Volume

The stock’s average daily volume is 10,631,100 shares out of a total float 928,321,000 and some 1,310,310 shares traded hands yesterday, lower than the average. Look for trading volume to pick up in the coming days as investors often use upticks in trading volume to determine large volume growth or distribution by institutional investors.

However, just a day of heavy buy side trading is not enough to determine a trend. As such, market traders will continue to watch for institutional sponsorship as a cue that financial institutions are moving forward.

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

Institutional investors such as these have substantial teams of analysts that investigate thousands of stocks, so it is good confirmation to see them buying a stock you’re considering.

Kroger Co. (NYSE: KR) 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 Kroger Co. (NYSE: KR) have ranged from $28.71 – 42.75, and the stock now has a 50-day MA of $32.77 and 200-day MA of $33.21. Today’s last price is 18.69%% lower than the 52 week high of $42.75.

Earnings growth is a crucial factor to look at when buying stocks and investors seek companies that have increased their earnings at least 25% or more for the past 3 years.

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