BHP Billiton Ltd. (NYSE: BHP) Stock Upgraded at Macquarie

Analysts at Macquarie upgraded shares of BHP Billiton Ltd. (NYSE: BHP) from Neutral to Outperform today. The company currently has a rating of Outperform on the shares. A number of other analysts have spoken on the company in recent days, and BHP Billiton Ltd. has earned a consensus one-year price target of $30.58, lower than the opening price of $31.07, a difference of 9.84 percent. BHP Billiton Ltd. stock has a 52-week high of $38.10. Usually, after analysts issue an upgrade report on a stock, they will subsequently issue other revisions, usually followed by a price target change.

U.S. stocks closed higher Tuesday as investors anticipate the results of meetings from the Federal Reserve and the Bank of Japan.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average DJIA, +0.05% rose 9.79 points, or less than 0.1%, to close at 18,129.96.

The S&P 500 index SPX, +0.03% advanced 0.64 points to finish at 2,139.76, led by gains in the health-care and consumer-staples sectors.

The Nasdaq Composite index COMP, +0.12% gained 6.33 points, or 0.1%, to close at 5,241.35.

Shares of BHP Billiton Ltd. (NYSE: BHP) opened at $31.07 yesterday and traded in a range between, $30.83 and $31.27, and last traded at $31.07, a spike of $0.58 from the previous closing price.

BHP Billiton Ltd. (NYSE: BHP) currently has a market cap of 82.68B.

The stock’s average daily volume is 4,121,530 shares out of a total float 1,602,454,000 and some 2,941,971 shares crossed the trading desk yesterday, 57 percent lower than the norm. Swing traders often use swings in trading volume to pinpoint substantial volume growth or dissemination by institutional investors, so trading volume is likely to increase in the next few days.

While increased trading for short periods will not mean much, however, a trend of heavy trading volume on the buy side over a period of days or weeks sends a positive cue 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.

Institutional investors such as these retain substantial teams of analysts that research thousands of stocks, so it is good validation to see them buying a stock you are considering.

By tracking the activity of these professional investors and how they influence moving averages, traders can make educated trades.

Trades for BHP Billiton Ltd. (NYSE: BHP) have ranged from $18.46 – 38.10, and the stock now has a 50-day MA of $31.08 and 200-day MA of $28.76. Today’s last price is 0.18% below the 52 week high of $38.10.

Earnings growth is an important factor to research when investing in stocks and investors identify companies that have increased their earnings by at least 25% over a 3 year period.

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