Merck & Co. (MRK) stock down despite upgrade at Zacks Investment Research

Merck & Co. (NYSE: MRK) shares slid back in value Wednesday Nov 23 with lighter trade volume than normal after a number of analysts weighed in on the investing value of the stock with a upgraded rating.

Meanwhile, in early trading, the Dow Jones Industrial Average DJIA, -0.03% fell 3.5 points to 19,019, essentially unchanged on the day. The S&P 500 SPX, -0.26% fell 7 points, or 0.3%, to 2,196, while the Nasdaq Composite Index COMP, -0.48% shed 34 points to 5,353, a loss of 0.6%.

Analysts at Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Merck & Co. (NYSE: MRK) from Hold to Buy today. The company currently has a rating of Buy on the shares. The one-year price target of $68.32 is above the opening price of $60.33, that has caused a fair amount of other analysts to issue statements on the stock in recent days. Looking back over the last 52 weeks, Merck & Co. stock has a high of $65.46. Stock prices sometimes get a spike to the upside when analysts upgrade a stock.

Shares of Merck & Co. (NYSE: MRK) opened at $60.33 on Tuesday trading between $59.82 and $61.09, and last traded at $60.94, which represents a dip of $0.76 per share or -1.23% from the previous closing price.

Merck & Co. (NYSE: MRK) currently has a market cap of 168.02B.

Merck & Co. (NYSE: MRK) Average Daily Trading Volume

The stock’s average daily volume is 10,384,800 shares out of a total float 2,605,026,000 and some 1,959,861 shares crossed the trading desk yesterday, lower than the average. Momentum traders often use upticks in trading volume to identify heavy volume aggregation or distribution by institutional investors, so trading volume is likely to increase in the next few days.

However, a single day of high volume buy side trading is not enough to determine a trend. As such, market traders will continue to watch for institutional sponsorship as an indicator that financial institutions are moving forward.

Institutional sponsorship is defined by ownership of a stock by mutual funds, banks, pension funds and other large institutions.

These professional investors have teams of analysts that investigate thousands of stocks, so it is good confirmation to see them buying a stock you’re considering.

Merck & Co. (NYSE: MRK) 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 can make the best trades when they follow the activity of professional investors.

Trades for Merck & Co. (NYSE: MRK) have ranged from $47.97 – 65.46, and the stock now has a 50-day MA of $61.70 and 200-day MA of $59.95. Today’s last price is 6.90%% below the 52 week high of $65.46.

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

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