SM Energy Co. (SM) Stock Up After Upgrade at Stifel Nicolaus

SM Energy Co. (NYSE: SM) shares rose in value Thursday Dec 1 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, 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 Stifel Nicolaus upgraded shares of SM Energy Co. (NYSE: SM) from Hold to Buy today. Stifel Nicolaus currently has a rating of Buy on the stock. The one-year price target of $46.30 is higher than the opening price of $42.33, that has caused a number of other analysts to report on the stock in recent days. Looking back over the last year, SM Energy Co. stock has a high of $43.09. Stock prices often move to the upside on recommendations and new price targets of professional brokerage firms.

SM Energy Co. (NYSE: SM) shares last traded at $40.94, which represents a jump of $1.08 or 2.71% compared to the previous closing price. Opening at $42.33, they varied from $40.09 and $42.45 throughout the day.

SM Energy Co. (NYSE: SM) now has a market cap of 3.56B.

SM Energy Co. (NYSE: SM) Average Daily Trading Volume

The stock’s average daily volume is 2,861,320 shares out of a total float 85,597,000 and some 470,463 shares traded hands yesterday, below the average. Investors often use increases in trading volume to pinpoint substantial volume growth or dissemination by institutional investors, so look for trading volume to pick up in the coming days.

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

Institutional sponsorship simply refers to ownership of a stock by mutual funds, banks, pension funds and other large institutions.

These professional investors retain substantial teams of analysts researching thousands of stocks, so it is good corroboration to see them taking a postion in a stock you’re considering.

SM Energy Co. (NYSE: SM) 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 following the activity of these professional investors and how they affect moving averages, traders are able to make make smarter trades.

With that in mind, SM Energy Co. (NYSE: SM) now has a 50-day MA of $35.67 and 200-day MA of $32.68. It has traded in a 52-week range between $6.99 – 43.09 and today’s last price is 4.99%% lower than the 52 week high of $43.09.

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 at least 25% or more over 3 consecutive years.

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