South Jersey Industries, Inc. (SJI) Stock Up After Upgrade at Zacks Investment Research

South Jersey Industries, Inc. (NYSE: SJI) shares rose 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 South Jersey Industries, Inc. (NYSE: SJI) from Hold to Strong-Buy today. Zacks Investment Research currently has a rating of Strong-Buy on the shares. A number of other analysts have commented on the stock in recent days, and the company has secured a consensus one-year price target of $34.29, higher than the opening price of $33.31, a difference of 10.27 percent. South Jersey Industries, Inc. stock has a 52-week high of $34.85. Stock prices sometimes get a boost to the upside when analysts upgrade a stock.

Yesterday South Jersey Industries, Inc. (NYSE: SJI) shares last traded at $33.40, which represents an increase of $0.19 from the previous closing price. Opening at $33.31, they fluctuated from $33.10 and $33.42 throughout the day.

South Jersey Industries, Inc. (NYSE: SJI) currently has a market cap of 2.65B.

South Jersey Industries, Inc. (NYSE: SJI) Average Daily Trading Volume

14,408 shares traded hands yesterday, 17 percent below normal, out of a total float 78,647,000. lower than normal. Look for trading volume to pick up in the coming days as swing traders often use upticks in trading volume to identify heavy volume accumulation or distribution by institutional investors.

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

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

These professional investors retain substantial teams of analysts that investigate thousands of stocks, so it is good confirmation to see them taking a postion in a stock you’re researching.

South Jersey Industries, Inc. (NYSE: SJI) 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 winning trades.

Trades for South Jersey Industries, Inc. (NYSE: SJI) have ranged from $25.25 – 34.85, and the stock now has a 50-day MA of $33.02 and 200-day MA of $31.13. Today’s last price is 4.16%% lower than the 52 week high of $34.85.

Indeed, earnings growth is among the most critical 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 over 3 consecutive years.

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