J.C. Penney Co. (JCP) stock starts with “Neutral” rating in note to investors by Credit Suisse Group AG

J.C. Penney Co. (NYSE: JCP) shares rose on Monday Dec 5 with lower trade volume than normal after more analysts initiated coverage on the stock.

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 Credit Suisse Group AG initiated coverage on J.C. Penney Co. (NYSE: JCP) stock, starting the company at Neutral. The company currently has a rating of Neutral on the shares. The one-year price target of $11.61 is higher than the opening price of $9.84, causing a fair amount of other analysts to issue statements on the company recently. Looking back over the last 52 weeks, J.C. Penney Co. stock has a high of $11.99. Changes in price targets are not uncommon as analysts and brokerage firms will issue periodic updates after initiating coverage,.

J.C. Penney Co. (NYSE: JCP) shares last traded at $10.05, which is a jump of $0.24 or 2.45% from the previous closing price. Opening at $9.84, they varied from $9.82 and $10.05 throughout the day.

J.C. Penney Co. (NYSE: JCP) currently has a market cap of 3.09B.

J.C. Penney Co. (NYSE: JCP) Average Daily Trading Volume

2,845,041 shares traded hands yesterday, lower than the average, out of a total float 290,356,000. Investors often use swings in trading volume to pinpoint large volume accumulation or circulation by institutional investors, so trading volume is likely to increase in the next few days.

However, just a day of heavy buy side trading is not enough to assert a trend. So market traders will continue to look for institutional sponsorship as a cue that financial institutions are moving forward.

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

These instituitional investors retain teams of analysts that investigate thousands of stocks, so it is good validation to see them taking a postion in a stock you are researching.

J.C. Penney Co. (NYSE: JCP) 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 traders to make those trends work in their favor and increase the number of successful trades.

With that in mind, J.C. Penney Co. (NYSE: JCP) now has a 50-day MA of $8.90 and 200-day MA of $9.03. It has traded in a 52-week range between $6.00 – 11.99 and today’s last price is 16.18%% lower than the 52 week high of $11.99.

Indeed, earnings growth is among the most critical things to look at in regards to stock investing and, accordingly, investors seek companies that have raised their earnings by at least 25% for a 3 year period.

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