BHP Billiton Ltd. (BHP) Shares Active after Upgrade at Citigroup Inc.

BHP Billiton Ltd. (NYSE: BHP) shares rose in value Monday Dec 5 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, the Dow Industrials on Monday opened at an all-time high as investors dismissed concerns about the outcome of Italy’s referendum on Sunday.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose DJIA, +0.41% 85 points, or 0.5%, at 19,260, the S&P 500 index SPX, +0.42% began trade 9 points, or 0.4%, higher at 2,201, while the Nasdaq Composite Index COMP, +0.43% advanced 27 points, or 0.5%, at 5,282.

Analysts at Citigroup Inc. upgraded shares of BHP Billiton Ltd. (NYSE: BHP) from Sell to Buy today. The company currently has a rating of Buy on the stock. A number of other analysts have spoken on the company in recent days, and the company has secured a consensus one-year price target of $36.46, lower than the opening price of $38.50. BHP Billiton Ltd. stock has a 52-week high of $39.12. Usually, after analysts publish an upgrade report on a stock, they will subsequently issue periodic revisions, such as a price target change.

Shares of BHP Billiton Ltd. (NYSE: BHP) opened at $38.50 on Tuesday and has traded in a range between, $38.28 and $38.67, and last traded at $38.63, which is an increase of $0.61 or 1.59% over the previous closing price.

BHP Billiton Ltd. (NYSE: BHP) now has a market cap of 102.79B.

BHP Billiton Ltd. (NYSE: BHP) Average Daily Trading Volume

722,080 shares crossed the trading desk yesterday, below normal, out of a total float 1,602,827,000. Swing traders often use increases in trading volume to pinpoint large volume accumulation or circulation by institutional investors, so look for trading volume to pick up in the coming days.

As with all potential breakouts, investors look 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 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 investigate thousands of stocks. Thus, watching their interests is a good way to make sure you are buying the right stocks.

BHP Billiton Ltd. (NYSE: BHP) 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 identifying trends, moving averages allow investors to make those trends work in their favor and increase the number of successful trades.

Trades for BHP Billiton Ltd. (NYSE: BHP) have ranged from $18.46 – 39.120, and the stock now has a 50-day MA of $36.11 and 200-day MA of $31.66. Today’s last price is 1.27%% lower than the 52 week high of $39.12.

Indeed, earnings growth is among the most crucial things to look at in regards to stock investing and, accordingly, investors seek companies that have grown their earnings by at least 25% for 3 consecutive years.

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