Williams Cos. (WMB) Stock Up After Upgrade at Morgan Stanley

Williams Cos. (NYSE: WMB) shares rose in value Monday Dec 19 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, the Dow Jones Industrial Average DJIA, +0.22% was trading up 37 points, or 0.2%, at 19,879, inching up to break the psychologically important 20,000 level.

The S&P 500 index SPX, +0.20% was up 6 points, or 0.3% at 2,264, with nine of the 11 main sectors trading higher.

The Nasdaq Composite Index COMP, +0.32% added 18 points, or 0.3% to 5,455.

Analysts at Morgan Stanley upgraded shares of Williams Cos. (NYSE: WMB) from Equal Weight to Overweight today. With a rating of Overweight on the stock, Williams Cos. has a 52-week high of $31.85. As a means of comparison, a number of other analysts have issued reports on the company recently, and Williams Cos. has earned a consensus one-year price target of $32.50, higher than the opening price of $31.27, a difference of 10.39 percent. Share prices often shift to the upside on recommendations and new price targets of professional brokerage firms.

Shares of Williams Cos. (NYSE: WMB) opened at $31.27 on Tuesday and has traded in a range between, $30.75 and $31.32, and last traded at $31.27, which represents a spike of $0.46 or 1.49% compared to the previous closing price.

Williams Cos. (NYSE: WMB) now has a market cap of 23.48B.

Williams Cos. (NYSE: WMB) Average Daily Trading Volume

The stock’s average daily volume is 6,905,630 shares out of a total float 749,651,000 and some 716,586 shares crossed the trading desk yesterday, lower than the norm. Swing traders often use swings in trading volume to identify large volume growth or dissemination by institutional investors, so look for trading volume to pick up in the coming days.

As with all potential breakouts, investors watch for volume to be at least 40%-50% higher than normal on the breakout to show that fund managers and other professional investors are jumping in.

Institutional sponsorship commonly refers to ownership of a stock by mutual funds, banks, pension funds and other large institutions.

Institutional investors such as these retain substantial teams of analysts researching thousands of stocks, so it is good corroboration to see them taking a postion in a stock you’re researching.

Williams Cos. (NYSE: WMB) 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 spotting trends, moving averages allow investors to make those trends work in their favor and increase the number of successful trades.

With that in mind, Williams Cos. (NYSE: WMB) now has a 50-day MA of $30.05 and 200-day MA of $27.12. It has traded in a 52-week range between $10.22 – 31.85 and today’s last price is 1.82%% lower than the 52 week high of $31.85.

Earnings growth is an important factor to research when investing in stocks and investors watch for companies that have raised their earnings by at least 25% over the past 3 years.

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