Principal Financial Group Inc. (PFG) Shares Active after Upgrade at Zacks Investment Research

Principal Financial Group Inc. (NYSE: PFG) shares fell back in value Wednesday Dec 14 with lower trade volume than normal after a number of analysts weighed in on the investing value of the stock with a upgraded rating.

Meanwhile, U.S. equities traded mostly lower on Wednesday as investors awaited the Federal Reserve’s latest decision regarding monetary policy.

The Dow Jones industrial average traded 35 points lower, with Goldman Sachs contributing the most losses. The S&P 500 traded 0.1 percent lower, with financials leading decliners. The Nasdaq composite, meanwhile, held flat.

Analysts at Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Principal Financial Group Inc. (NYSE: PFG) from Hold to Buy today. With a rating of Buy on the shares, the company has a 52-week high of $61.34. The one-year price target of $58.33 is lower than the opening price of $59.15, that has caused a number of other analysts to comment on the stock recently. Share prices sometimes get a spike to the upside when analysts upgrade a stock.

Shares of Principal Financial Group Inc. (NYSE: PFG) opened at $59.15 on Tuesday and has traded in a range between, $58.97 and $59.79, and last traded at $59.21, a decrease of $0.31 per share or -0.52% over the previous closing price.

Principal Financial Group Inc. (NYSE: PFG) now has a market cap of 17.03B.

Principal Financial Group Inc. (NYSE: PFG) Average Daily Trading Volume

The stock’s average daily volume is 1,757,880 shares out of a total float 286,017,000 and some 139,853 shares traded hands yesterday, lower than normal. Trading volume is likely to increase in the next few days as investors often use swings in trading volume to pinpoint large volume aggregation or dissemination by institutional investors.

As with all possible breakouts, investors look for volume to be at least 40%-50% higher than normal on the breakout to demonstrate 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.

Professional investors such as these have teams of analysts researching thousands of stocks, so it is good corroboration to see them taking a postion in a stock you are considering.

Principal Financial Group Inc. (NYSE: PFG) 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 marking the activity of these professional investors and how they affect moving averages, traders are able to make make educated trades.

Trades for Principal Financial Group Inc. (NYSE: PFG) have ranged from $33.09 – 61.3400, and the stock now has a 50-day MA of $56.89 and 200-day MA of $49.25. Today’s last price is 3.47%% lower than the 52 week high of $61.34.

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

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