First Republic Bank (FRC) Shares Active after Upgrade at Zacks Investment Research

First Republic Bank (NYSE: FRC) shares rose in value Thursday Nov 17 with slower trade volume than normal after a number of analysts weighed in on the investing value of the stock with a upgraded 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.

Analysts at Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of First Republic Bank (NYSE: FRC) from Hold to Buy today. Zacks Investment Research currently has a rating of Buy on the shares. The one-year price target of $82.20 is higher than the opening price of $81.76, that has caused a fair amount of other analysts to issue statements on the stock in recent days. Looking back over the last year, First Republic Bank stock has a high of $86.32. Stock prices sometimes get a spike to the upside when analysts upgrade a stock.

First Republic Bank (NYSE: FRC) shares last traded at $83.24, which is a jump of $1.94 or 2.39% from the previous closing price. Opening at $81.76, they fluctuated from $81.69 and $83.46 throughout the day.

First Republic Bank (NYSE: FRC) now has a market cap of 12.50B.

First Republic Bank (NYSE: FRC) Average Daily Trading Volume

169,070 shares crossed the trading desk yesterday, lower than normal, out of a total float 148,873,000. Investors often use increases in trading volume to pinpoint heavy volume growth or distribution by institutional investors, so trading volume is likely to increase in the next few days.

However, one day of significant buy side trading is not enough to affirm a trend. So market traders will continue to look for institutional sponsorship as an indicator that financial institutions are moving forward.

Institutional sponsorship just refers to ownership of a stock by mutual funds, banks, pension funds and other large institutions.

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

First Republic Bank (NYSE: FRC) 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 successful trades.

Trades for First Republic Bank (NYSE: FRC) have ranged from $56.32 – 86.32, and the stock now has a 50-day MA of $76.77 and 200-day MA of $73.04. Today’s last price is 3.57%% lower than the 52 week high of $86.32.

Earnings growth is a critical factor to research when buying stocks and investors look for companies that have grown their earnings at least 25% or more for a 3 year period.

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