Sterling Bancorp (STL) shares fall following downgrade at Zacks Investment Research

Sterling Bancorp (NYSE: STL) shares rose on 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 downgraded 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.
Shares of Sterling Bancorp (NYSE: STL) were downgraded by analysts at Zacks Investment Research in a note to their investors today. The company currently has a rating of Sell on the shares. The one-year price target of $14.75 is a decrease compared to the opening price of $22.95, resulting a number of other analysts to report on the stock in recent days. Looking back over the last year, Sterling Bancorp stock has a high of $23.55. Downgrades are more common when analysts feel that the future prospects for the security have weakened from the initial recommendation, usually due to a considerable and fundamental change in the company’s operations, future outlook or industry.

Shares of Sterling Bancorp (NYSE: STL) opened at $22.95 on Tuesday trading between $22.85 and $23.25, and last traded at $23.15, which represents a spike of $0.40 or 1.76% compared to the previous closing price.

Sterling Bancorp (NYSE: STL) now has a market cap of 3.03B.

Sterling Bancorp (NYSE: STL) Average Daily Trading Volume

81,121 shares crossed the trading desk yesterday, below the average, out of a total float 119,602,000. Investors often use upticks in trading volume to identify heavy volume growth or circulation by institutional investors, so trading volume is likely to increase in the next few days.

As with all possible breakouts, investors look for volume to be at least 40%-50% higher than normal on the breakout to indicate that fund managers and other professional investors are jumping in.

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

These instituitional investors retain substantial teams of analysts researching thousands of stocks, so it is good confirmation to see them buying a stock you are researching.

Sterling Bancorp (NYSE: STL) 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 well planned trades when they follow the activity of professional investors.

Trades for Sterling Bancorp (NYSE: STL) have ranged from $13.44 – 23.55, and the stock now has a 50-day MA of $19.26 and 200-day MA of $17.34. Today’s last price is 1.70%% lower than the 52 week high of $23.55.

Earnings growth is an important factor to research when investing in stocks and investors look for companies that have raised their earnings at least 25% or more over a 3 year period.

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