Principal Financial Group Inc. (PFG) Stock Up After Upgrade at Zacks Investment Research

Principal Financial Group Inc. (NYSE: PFG) shares rose in value Thursday Dec 1 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. stocks opened with slight gains on Thursday.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average DJIA, +0.31% rose 38.22 points, or 0.2%, to 19,174, while the S&P 500 SPX, +0.01% added 2.1 points to 2,202, a rise of 0.1%.

The Nasdaq Composite Index COMP, -0.32% rose less than 1 point to 5,323, essentially unchanged on the day.
Analysts at Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Principal Financial Group Inc. (NYSE: PFG) from Hold to Buy today. The company currently has a rating of Buy on the shares. The one-year price target of $56.50 is lower than the opening price of $57.75, resulting a fair amount of other analysts to report on the stock in recent days. Looking back over the last year, Principal Financial Group Inc. stock has a high of $58.85. Share prices often move to the upside on recommendations and new price targets of professional analysts.

Principal Financial Group Inc. (NYSE: PFG) shares last traded at $57.76, a spike of $0.50 or 0.87% from the previous closing price. Opening at $57.75, they ranged from $57.69 and $57.93 throughout the day.

Principal Financial Group Inc. (NYSE: PFG) now has a market cap of 16.62B.

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

The stock’s average daily volume is 1,664,900 shares out of a total float 267,039,000 and some 113,432 shares traded hands yesterday, lower than the norm. Investors often use swings in trading volume to identify large volume growth or circulation by institutional investors, so look for trading volume to pick up in the coming days.

However, just a day of high volume buy side trading is not enough to assert a trend. As such, market traders will continue to watch for institutional sponsorship as a cue 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 teams of analysts that research thousands of stocks, so it is good confirmation to see them buying 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.

Traders can make more impactful choices on trades when they track the activity of professional investors.

Trades for Principal Financial Group Inc. (NYSE: PFG) have ranged from $33.09 – 58.85, and the stock now has a 50-day MA of $54.82 and 200-day MA of $47.98. Today’s last price is 1.85%% under the 52 week high of $58.85.

Earnings growth is a critical factor to look at when buying stocks and investors identify companies that have raised their earnings by at least 25% over the past 3 years.

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