3M Co. (MMM) Stock Down After Price Target Increase at Stifel Nicolaus

3M Co. (NYSE: MMM) shares were down on Wednesday Dec 14 with 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. equities traded mostly lower on Wednesday as investors awaited the Federal Reserve’s latest decision regarding monetary policy.

The Dow Jones industrial average traded 35 points lower, with Goldman Sachs contributing the most losses. The S&P 500 traded 0.1 percent lower, with financials leading decliners. The Nasdaq composite, meanwhile, held flat.

3M Co. (NYSE: MMM) had its price target boosted by equities researchers at Stifel Nicolaus from $175.00 to $186.00. Stifel Nicolaus currently has a rating of Hold on the shares. The one-year price target of $183.20 is above the opening price of $179.17, causing a number of other analysts to issue statements on the stock recently. Looking back over the last 52 weeks, 3M Co. stock has a high of $182.27.

3M Co. (NYSE: MMM) shares last traded at $178.54, which represents a dip of $0.29 per share or -0.16% from the previous closing price. Opening at $179.17, they fluctuated from $178.48 and $179.39 throughout the day.

3M Co. (NYSE: MMM) now has a market cap of 107.39B.

3M Co. (NYSE: MMM) Average Daily Trading Volume

The stock’s average daily volume is 2,045,740 shares out of a total float 601,063,000 and some 143,919 shares crossed the trading desk yesterday, lower than normal. Momentum traders often use upticks 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.

While higher trading for one day will not mean much, conversely, a trend of heavy trading volume on the buy side over a series of days or weeks sends a positive signal to market traders that institutions may be moving in, so institutional sponsorship is crucial.

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

These instituitional investors have teams of analysts that investigate thousands of stocks, so it is good validation to see them buying a stock you are researching.

3M Co. (NYSE: MMM) 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 traders to make those trends work in their favor and increase the number of winning trades.

Trades for 3M Co. (NYSE: MMM) have ranged from $134.64 – 182.27, and the stock now has a 50-day MA of $171.48 and 200-day MA of $174.42. Today’s last price is 2.05%% under the 52 week high of $182.27.

Indeed, earnings growth is among the most critical things to look at in regards to stock investing and, accordingly, investors watch for companies that have increased their earnings by at least 25% for a 3 year period.

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