WellCare Health Plans, Inc. (WCG) Stock Down After Price Target Increase at Jefferies Group LLC

WellCare Health Plans, Inc. (NYSE: WCG) shares were down on Wednesday February 8 on lower trade volume than normal after a number of analysts weighed in on the investing value of the stock, raising the price target of stock.

Meanwhile U.S. stocks traded modestly lower on Wednesday, as losses in energy shares following a drop in oil prices and a slide in financials weighed on the main indexes.

The S&P 500 index SPX, -0.17% declined 6 points, or 0.3%, to 2,286, with six of the main sectors trading lower. Energy and financials were leading the losses, down more than 1%.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average DJIA, -0.26% was down 65 points, or 0.3%, to 20,021, a day after the blue-chip index set an intraday high at 10,155.35. The Nasdaq Composite COMP, -0.13% retreated from an all-time high set on Tuesday, falling 23 points, or 0.4%, to 5,650.

WellCare Health Plans, Inc. (NYSE: WCG) had its price target boosted by equities researchers at Jefferies Group LLC from $0.00 to $142.00. With a rating of on the shares, WellCare Health Plans, Inc. has a 52-week high of $151.93. The one-year price target of $144.22 is a decrease compared to the opening price of $146.49, causing a fair amount of other analysts to issue statements on the stock recently.

Shares of WellCare Health Plans, Inc. (NYSE: WCG) opened at $146.49 yesterday trading between $140.14 and $146.49, and last traded at $141.42, a dip of $4.63 compared to the previous closing price.

WellCare Health Plans, Inc. (NYSE: WCG) now has a market cap of 6.26B.

WellCare Health Plans, Inc. (NYSE: WCG) Average Daily Trading Volume

The stock’s average daily volume is 504,026 shares out of a total float 44,072,000 and some 94,285 shares crossed the trading desk yesterday, 67 percent lower than the average. lower than normal. Look for trading volume to pick up in the coming days as investors often use swings in trading volume to identify heavy volume accumulation or distribution by institutional investors.

While increased 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 sends a positive signal to market traders that institutions may be moving in, so institutional sponsorship is very important.

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

Institutional investors such as these have substantial teams of analysts that research thousands of stocks. So watching their interests is a good way to make sure you are buying the right stocks.

WellCare Health Plans, Inc. (NYSE: WCG) 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.

Trades for WellCare Health Plans, Inc. (NYSE: WCG) have ranged from $77.68 – 151.930, and the stock now has a 50-day MA of $142.51 and 200-day MA of $125.32. Today’s last price is 6.92%% under the 52 week high of $151.93.

Earnings growth is a critical factor to consider when buying stocks and investors watch for companies that have raised their earnings by at least 25% over 3 consecutive years.

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