Spartan Stores Inc. (SPTN) Shares Tick Up after Upgrade at Zacks Investment Research

Spartan Stores Inc. (NASDAQ: SPTN) shares rose in value Thursday Dec 1 with slower 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. stocks opened with slight gains on Thursday.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average DJIA, +0.31% rose 38.22 points, or 0.2%, to 19,174, while the S&P 500 SPX, +0.01% added 2.1 points to 2,202, a rise of 0.1%.

The Nasdaq Composite Index COMP, -0.32% rose less than 1 point to 5,323, essentially unchanged on the day.
Analysts at Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Spartan Stores Inc. (NASDAQ: SPTN) from Hold to Buy today. With a rating of Buy on the shares, Spartan Stores Inc. has a 52-week high of $37.81. The one-year price target of $33.25 is less than the opening price of $36.14, resulting a number of other analysts to issue statements on the stock recently. Share prices sometimes get a spike to the upside when analysts upgrade a stock.

Spartan Stores Inc. (NASDAQ: SPTN) shares last traded at $36.53, which is an increase of $0.32 or 0.88% over the previous closing price. Opening at $36.14, they ranged from $35.88 and $36.92 throughout the day.

Spartan Stores Inc. (NASDAQ: SPTN) currently has a market cap of 1.37B.

Spartan Stores Inc. (NASDAQ: SPTN) Average Daily Trading Volume

11,575 shares traded hands yesterday, below the norm, out of a total float 36,487,000. Momentum traders often use swings in trading volume to pinpoint large volume growth or circulation by institutional investors, so trading volume is likely to increase in the next few days.

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

Institutional sponsorship simply 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 watching their interests is a good way to ensure you are buying the right stocks.

Spartan Stores Inc. (NASDAQ: SPTN) 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, Spartan Stores Inc. (NASDAQ: SPTN) now has a 50-day MA of $31.22 and 200-day MA of $30.32. It has traded in a 52-week range between $17.66 – 37.81 and today’s last price is 3.39%% lower than the 52 week high of $37.81.

Indeed, earnings growth is among the most crucial things to look at in regards to stock investing and, accordingly, investors seek companies that have grown their earnings by at least 25% for 3 consecutive years.

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