Potlatch Corp. (PCH) stock down after upgrade at Bank of America Corp.

Potlatch Corp. (NASDAQ: PCH) shares slid back in value in early trading today on lighter trade volume than normal after a number of analysts weighed in on the investing value of the stock with a upgraded rating.

Analysts at Bank of America Corp. upgraded shares of Potlatch Corp. (NASDAQ: PCH) from Underperform to Neutral today. With a rating of Neutral on the shares, Potlatch Corp. has a 52-week high of $39.91. The one-year price target of $40.29 is above the opening price of $39.59, that has caused a number of other analysts to report on the stock recently. Share prices sometimes get a jump to the upside when analysts upgrade a stock.

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

Potlatch Corp. (NASDAQ: PCH) shares last traded at $38.63, a drop of $0.26 per share or -0.01 compared to the previous closing price. Opening at $39.59, they fluctuated from $38.62 and $39.59 throughout the day.

Potlatch Corp. (NASDAQ: PCH) now has a market cap of 1.57B.

Potlatch Corp.Trading Volume

69,307 shares traded hands yesterday, lower than the average, out of a total float 40,011,000. Swing traders often use upticks in trading volume to pinpoint large volume growth or distribution by institutional investors, so trading volume is likely to increase in the next few days.

While higher trading for one day will not mean much, conversely, a trend of heavy trading volume on the buy side over a period of days or weeks delivers a positive indicator to market traders that institutions may be moving in, so institutional sponsorship is critical.

Institutional sponsorship is defined by ownership of a stock by mutual funds, banks, pension funds and other large institutions.

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

Potlatch Corp. 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 investors to make those trends work in their favor and increase the number of successful trades.

With that in mind, Potlatch Corp. (NASDAQ: PCH) now has a 50-day MA of $38.11 and 200-day MA of $35.24. It has traded in a 52-week range between $24.01 – 39.91 and today’s last price is 0.03% lower than the 52 week high of $39.91.

Indeed, earnings growth is among the most important things to look at in regards to stock investing and, accordingly, investors identify companies that have been successful at growing their earnings by at least 25% over the past 3 years.

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