Ascena Retail Group Inc. (NASDAQ: ASNA) Downgraded at Zacks Investment Research

Shares of Ascena Retail Group Inc. (NASDAQ: ASNA) were downgraded by analysts at Zacks Investment Research in a note to their investors today. With a rating of Strong Sell on the stock, the company has a 52-week high of $14.76. The one-year price target of $8.78 is above the opening price of $5.72, resulting a fair amount of other analysts to comment on the company recently. Downgrades happen when analysts feel that the future prospects for the security have weakened from the original recommendation, usually caused by a material and crucial change in the company’s actions, future direction or industry.

The Fed stood pat on interest rates on Wednesday, helping stocks to mostly higher levels but Chairwoman Janet Yellen indicated an interest rate hike is likely by year’s end

On Wednesday, the S&P 500 SPX, +1.09% ended 1.1% higher, while the Dow DJIA, +0.90% jumped by 0.9%, or 164 points, as each exchange finished in positive territory for a second consecutive day.

The tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite COMP, +1.03% tacked on 1% and scored a record closing high.

S&P 500 futures ESZ6, +0.36% were up 6.55 points, or 0.3%, to 2,162.75 early Thursday, while Dow Jones Industrial Average futures YMZ6, +0.37% rose 58 points, or 0.3%, to 18,276. Nasdaq-100 futures NQZ6, +0.39% gained 16.25 points, or 0.3%, to 4,866.25.

Shares of Ascena Retail Group Inc. (NASDAQ: ASNA) opened at $5.72 yesterday trading between $5.33 and $5.79, and last traded at $5.57, a decrease of $0.12 over the previous closing price.

Ascena Retail Group Inc. (NASDAQ: ASNA) currently has a market cap of 1.07B.

The stock’s average daily volume is 2,933,810 shares out of a total float 134,815,000 and some 13,080,140 shares traded hands yesterday, above normal. Heavy volume accumulation by institutional investors may be in the near future as the combination of significant expansions in trading volume and price growth can be determining factors.

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

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

These instituitional investors have substantial teams of analysts that research thousands of stocks. Thus, watching their interests is a good way to make sure you are buying the right stocks.

By spotting trends, moving averages allow traders to make those trends work in their favor and increase the number of successful trades.

With that in mind, Ascena Retail Group Inc. (NASDAQ: ASNA) now has a 50-day MA of $7.90 and 200-day MA of $8.29. It has traded in a 52-week range between $5.33 – 14.76 and today’s last price is 0.62% lower than the 52 week high of $14.76.

Earnings growth is a crucial factor to consider when investing in stocks and investors look for companies that have increased their earnings at least 25% or more for a 3 year period.

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