Laboratory Corp. of America Holdings (LH) Stock Moves Down and Here’s Why

Zacks Investment Research (Laboratory Corp. of America Holdings: NYSE) shares fell on Wednesday Dec 28 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, U.S. stocks were little changed on Wednesday, as investors found few reasons to keep pushing shares higher towards the 20,000 mark.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average DJIA, -0.11% rose 3.1 points to 19,949, essentially unchanged on the day. The S&P 500 SPX, -0.39% lost 3 points, or 0.1%, to 2,266 while the Nasdaq Composite Index COMP, -0.59% slipped 6.4 points, or 0.1%, to 5,482.

Shares of Zacks Investment Research (Laboratory Corp. of America Holdings: NYSE) were downgraded by analysts at Zacks Investment Research in a note to their investors today. The company currently has a rating of Sell on the shares. The one-year price target of $146.53 is above the opening price of $128.71, that has caused a fair amount of other analysts to report on the stock recently. Looking back over the last year, Laboratory Corp. of America Holdings stock has a high of $141.32. Considerable and crucial changes in the company’s procedures, future direction or industry can cause downgrades as the analysts feel that the future prospects for the security have diminished from the original recommendation.

Shares of Zacks Investment Research (Laboratory Corp. of America Holdings: NYSE) opened at $128.71 on Tuesday and has traded in a range between, $127.62 and $129.14, and last traded at $127.64, which is a decrease of $1.05 per share or -0.82% from the previous closing price.

Zacks Investment Research (Laboratory Corp. of America Holdings: NYSE) now has a market cap of 13.15B.

Zacks Investment Research (Laboratory Corp. of America Holdings: NYSE) Average Daily Trading Volume

20,815 shares crossed the trading desk yesterday, below normal, out of a total float 102,653,000. Swing traders often use increases in trading volume to pinpoint large volume growth or distribution by institutional investors, so trading volume is likely to increase in the next few days.

As with all potential breakouts, investors watch for volume to be at least 40%-50% above 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.

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’re researching.

Zacks Investment Research (Laboratory Corp. of America Holdings: NYSE) 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.

Traders are able to make make well planned trades when they track the activity of professional investors.

With that in mind, Zacks Investment Research (Laboratory Corp. of America Holdings: NYSE) now has a 50-day MA of $126.69 and 200-day MA of $132.85. It has traded in a 52-week range between $97.79 – 141.32 and today’s last price is 9.68%% lower than the 52 week high of $141.32.

Earnings growth is a critical factor to consider when buying stocks and investors seek companies that have been successful at growing their earnings at least 25% or more for the past 3 years.

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