Citizens Financial Group Inc. (CFG) stock Holds On after being downgraded at Piper Jaffray Cos.

Citizens Financial Group Inc. (NYSE: CFG) shares rose on Thursday Nov 17 with lower trade volume than normal after a number of analysts weighed in on the investing value of the stock with a downgraded rating.

Meanwhile, stocks opened flat this morning, struggling for direction in early trade ahead of congressional testimony by Federal Reserve Chairwoman Janet Yellen. Ahead of an appearance before the Joint Economic Committee, Yellen said an interest-rate hike could come “relatively soon,”

The S&P 500 SPX, +0.25% fell less than 0.1% to 2,176.85 while Dow Industrials DJIA, -0.05% fell 9 points to 18,858. The Nasdaq Composite COMP, +0.18% declined 0.1% to 5,291.48.

Shares of Citizens Financial Group Inc. (NYSE: CFG) were downgraded by analysts at Piper Jaffray Cos. in a note to their investors today. The company currently has a rating of Neutral on the shares. As a means of comparison, 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 $28.93, less than the opening price of $30.73, a difference of 9.28 percent. Citizens Financial Group Inc. stock has a 52-week high of $31.24. Considerable and crucial changes in the company’s actions, future vision or industry can cause downgrades as the analysts feel that the future prospects for the security have dropped from the original recommendation.

Shares of Citizens Financial Group Inc. (NYSE: CFG) opened at $30.73 on Monday trading between $30.69 and $31.24, and last traded at $31.16, which is a spike of $0.43 or 1.40% from the previous closing price.

Citizens Financial Group Inc. (NYSE: CFG) currently has a market cap of 16.15B.

Citizens Financial Group Inc. (NYSE: CFG) Average Daily Trading Volume

The stock’s average daily volume is 5,689,780 shares out of a total float 516,500,000 and some 891,545 shares crossed the trading desk yesterday, below the norm. Swing traders often use increases in trading volume to determine substantial volume growth or circulation by institutional investors, so look for trading volume to pick up in the coming days.

As with all possible breakouts, investors watch for volume to be at least 40%-50% higher than 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 retain teams of analysts researching thousands of stocks. So watching their interests is a good way to make sure you are buying the right stocks.

Citizens Financial Group Inc. (NYSE: CFG) 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 winning trades.

With that in mind, Citizens Financial Group Inc. (NYSE: CFG) now has a 50-day MA of $26.39 and 200-day MA of $23.56. It has traded in a 52-week range between $18.04 – 31.24 and today’s last price is 0.26%% lower than the 52 week high of $31.24.

Earnings growth is an important factor to consider when buying stocks and investors seek companies that have grown their earnings by at least 25% for 3 consecutive years.

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