Quest Diagnostics Inc. (DGX) stock slides, “Neutral” rating reaffirmed by Mizuho Analysts

Quest Diagnostics Inc. (NYSE: DGX) shares fell on Wednesday Nov 30 with lower trade volume than normal after a number of analysts weighed in on the investing value of the stock and reiterated thier respective ratings.

Meanwhile, the Dow Jones Industrial Average hit an intraday record after opening higher Wednesday, led by the energy sector as hopes rose that the world’s major oil producers are near a deal on limiting output.

The benchmark S&P 500 and Dow were on track to post their largest monthly gains since March.

The S&P 500 SPX, +0.22% gained 5 points, or 0.2%, to 2,209. The Dow Jones Industrial Average DJIA, +0.41% added 62 points, or 0.3%, to 19,184, trading in record territory. The Nasdaq Composite COMP, -0.08% was 7 points, or 0.1%, higher at 5,386.

Quest Diagnostics Inc. (NYSE: DGX) had its Neutral rating reiterated by equities researchers at Mizuho in a research note to investors. With a rating of Neutral on the stock, Quest Diagnostics Inc. has a 52-week high of $89.16. As a means of comparison, a number of other analysts have issued reports on the company recently, and Quest Diagnostics Inc. has earned a consensus one-year price target of $83.80, less than the opening price of $88.56. Share prices sometimes get a jump to the upside when analysts reiterate coverage.

Quest Diagnostics Inc. (NYSE: DGX) shares last traded at $88.62, which represents a dip of $0.13 per share or -0.15% from the previous closing price. Opening at $88.56, they fluctuated from $88.32 and $89.16 throughout the day.

Quest Diagnostics Inc. (NYSE: DGX) now has a market cap of 12.29B.

Quest Diagnostics Inc. (NYSE: DGX) Average Daily Trading Volume

The stock’s average daily volume is 1,213,320 shares out of a total float 138,182,000 and some 80,284 shares traded hands yesterday, lower than the average. Trading volume is likely to increase in the next few days as investors often use increases in trading volume to determine substantial volume growth or circulation by institutional investors.

While higher trading for one day will not mean much, however, a trend of heavy trading volume on the buy side over a period of days or weeks sends a positive signal to market traders that institutions may be moving in, so institutional sponsorship is critical.

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

Institutional investors such as these have teams of analysts researching thousands of stocks. Thus, watching their interests is a good way to ensure you are buying the right stocks.

Quest Diagnostics Inc. (NYSE: DGX) 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 more effective judgments on trades when they track the activity of professional investors.

With that in mind, Quest Diagnostics Inc. (NYSE: DGX) now has a 50-day MA of $83.50 and 200-day MA of $82.31. It has traded in a 52-week range between $59.66 – 89.16 and today’s last price is 0.61%% lower than the 52 week high of $89.16.

Indeed, earnings growth is among the most crucial things to look at in regards to stock investing and, accordingly, investors seek companies that have increased their earnings by at least 25% for the past 3 years.

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