National Fuel Gas Company (NFG) Shares Active after Upgrade at Zacks Investment Research

National Fuel Gas Company (NYSE: NFG) shares slid back in value on Tuesday February 7 on lighter trade volume than normal after a number of analysts weighed in on the investing value of the stock with a upgraded rating.

U.S. stocks were up in early trade on Tuesday which could put the equity market on track to set new records.

Investors were focusing on earnings, with GM and Michael Kors making moves after reporting early.

S&P 500 futures ESH7, +0.31% rose 7 points, or 0.3%, to 2,293.50, while Dow Jones Industrial Average futures YMH7, +0.46% tacked on 70 points, or 0.4%, to 20,042. Nasdaq-100 futures NQH7, +0.48% added 14 points, or 0.3%, to 5,171.75.

Analysts at Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of National Fuel Gas Company (NYSE: NFG) from Hold to Buy today. The company currently has a rating of Buy on the shares. A number of other analysts have spoken on the stock in recent days, and the company has secured a consensus one-year price target of $64.50, above the opening price of $58.90, a difference of 11.01 percent. National Fuel Gas Company stock has a 52-week high of $60.00. Stock prices sometimes get a boost to the upside when analysts upgrade a stock.

Shares of National Fuel Gas Company (NYSE: NFG) opened at $58.90 yesterday trading between $58.58 and $59.01, and last traded at $58.60, which is a drop of $0.32 from the previous closing price.

National Fuel Gas Company (NYSE: NFG) currently has a market cap of 5.00B.

National Fuel Gas Company (NYSE: NFG) Average Daily Trading Volume

The stock’s average daily volume is 425,769 shares out of a total float 83,118,000 and some 20,086 shares traded hands yesterday, 37 percent below the norm. lower than normal. Look for trading volume to pick up in the coming days as momentum traders often use swings in trading volume to identify heavy volume accumulation or distribution by institutional investors.

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

Professional investors such as these retain substantial teams of analysts researching thousands of stocks, so it is good confirmation to see them taking a postion in a stock you are considering.

National Fuel Gas Company (NYSE: NFG) 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 tracking the activity of these professional investors—and the moving averages they affect—it allows for traders to make more effective decisions on trades.

With that in mind, National Fuel Gas Company (NYSE: NFG) now has a 50-day MA of $57.27 and 200-day MA of $55.83. It has traded in a 52-week range between $43.31 – 60.00 and today’s last price is 2.33%% lower than the 52 week high of $60.00.

Indeed, earnings growth is among the most critical things to look at in regards to stock investing and, accordingly, investors identify companies that have grown their earnings by at least 25% over a 3 year period.

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