National Oilwell Varco (NOV) stock steady after being downgraded at Citigroup Inc.

National Oilwell Varco (NYSE: NOV) shares fell in early trading today on lower trade volume than normal after a number of analysts weighed in on the investing value of the stock with a downgraded rating.

Shares of National Oilwell Varco (NYSE: NOV) were downgraded by analysts at Citigroup Inc. in a note to their investors today. With a rating of Sell on the shares, National Oilwell Varco has a 52-week high of $42.62. A number of other analysts have spoken on the company in recent days, and the company has earned a consensus one-year price target of $32.03, a decrease compared to the opening price of $36.01, a difference of 8.86 percent. Downgrades occur when analysts consider that the future prospects for the security have diminished from the initial recommendation, usually caused by an important and integral digression in the company’s procedures, future vision or industry.

Meanwhile, US stock opened lower amid concerns surrounding the U.S. Department of Justice’s probe into Deutsche Bank AG.

The S&P 500 SPX, -0.25% slipped 5 points, or 0.2%, to 2,162.

The Dow industrials DJIA, -0.26% fell 55 points, or 0.3%, to 18,252.

The Nasdaq Composite COMP, -0.11% was off 13 points, or 0.3%, to 5,298

Shares of National Oilwell Varco (NYSE: NOV) opened at $36.01 yesterday trading between $35.76 and $36.40, and last traded at $36.15, a drop of $0.59 per share or -0.02 from the previous closing price.

National Oilwell Varco (NYSE: NOV) now has a market cap of 13.65B.

National Oilwell VarcoTrading Volume

1,635,908 shares traded hands yesterday, lower than normal, out of a total float 376,947,000. Swing traders often use increases in trading volume to determine heavy volume accumulation or dissemination by institutional investors, so look for trading volume to pick up in the coming days.

As with all possible breakouts, investors watch for volume to be at least 40%-50% above normal on the breakout to show that fund managers and other professional investors are jumping in.

Institutional sponsorship is defined by 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. Thus, watching their interests is a good way to make sure you are buying the right stocks.

National Oilwell Varco 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— traders are able to make make educated trades.

With that in mind, National Oilwell Varco (NYSE: NOV) now has a 50-day MA of $34.27 and 200-day MA of $32.79. It has traded in a 52-week range between $25.74 – 42.62 and today’s last price is 0.15% lower than the 52 week high of $42.62.

Indeed, earnings growth is among the most important things to look at in regards to stock investing and, accordingly, investors seek companies that have been successful at growing their earnings at least 25% or more for 3 consecutive years.

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