Whiting Petroleum Corp. (WLL) Shares Tick Up after Upgrade at Stifel Nicolaus

Whiting Petroleum Corp. (NYSE: WLL) shares rose in value Thursday Dec 1 with lower 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 Stifel Nicolaus upgraded shares of Whiting Petroleum Corp. (NYSE: WLL) from Hold to Buy today. With a rating of Buy on the shares, the company has a 52-week high of $17.04. The one-year price target of $11.39 is less than the opening price of $13.26, that has caused a number of other analysts to comment on the stock recently. Share prices often shift to the upside on recommendations and new price targets of professional brokerage firms.

Shares of Whiting Petroleum Corp. (NYSE: WLL) opened at $13.26 on Tuesday and has traded in a range between, $12.56 and $13.39, and last traded at $12.75, which is a jump of $0.53 or 4.30% compared to the previous closing price.

Whiting Petroleum Corp. (NYSE: WLL) now has a market cap of 3.57B.

Whiting Petroleum Corp. (NYSE: WLL) Average Daily Trading Volume

18,622,568 shares traded hands yesterday, lower than the average, out of a total float 278,160,000. Look for trading volume to pick up in the coming days as momentum traders often use swings in trading volume to identify substantial volume accumulation or distribution by institutional investors.

While increased trading for short periods will not mean much, conversely, a trend of heavy trading volume on the buy side over a series of days or weeks expresses 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.

These professional investors 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.

Whiting Petroleum Corp. (NYSE: WLL) 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.

Traders are able to make make educated trades when they follow the trading habits of professional investors.

With that in mind, Whiting Petroleum Corp. (NYSE: WLL) now has a 50-day MA of $8.85 and 200-day MA of $9.06. It has traded in a 52-week range between $3.35 – 17.040 and today’s last price is 25.20%% lower than the 52 week high of $17.04.

Earnings growth is a crucial factor to look at when buying stocks and investors identify companies that have been successful at growing their earnings by at least 25% for a 3 year period.

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