UnitedHealth Group Inc. (UNH) stock slides, “Buy” rating reaffirmed by Leerink Swann Analysts

UnitedHealth Group Inc. (NYSE: UNH) shares fell on Wednesday Nov 23 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, in early trading, the Dow Jones Industrial Average DJIA, -0.03% fell 3.5 points to 19,019, essentially unchanged on the day. The S&P 500 SPX, -0.26% fell 7 points, or 0.3%, to 2,196, while the Nasdaq Composite Index COMP, -0.48% shed 34 points to 5,353, a loss of 0.6%.

UnitedHealth Group Inc. (NYSE: UNH) had its Buy rating reiterated by equities researchers at Leerink Swann in a research note to investors. With a rating of Buy on the shares, UnitedHealth Group Inc. has a 52-week high of $153.96. As a means of comparison, a number of other analysts have commented on the company in recent days, and UnitedHealth Group Inc. has secured a consensus one-year price target of $164.05, higher than the opening price of $152.01, a difference of 10.84 percent. Usually, after analysts assign a “reiterated rating” report on a stock, they will subsequently issue recurring updates, such as a price target change.

Shares of UnitedHealth Group Inc. (NYSE: UNH) opened at $152.01 on Tuesday trading between $151.33 and $153.74, and last traded at $151.34, which is a decrease of $0.92 per share or -0.60% over the previous closing price.

UnitedHealth Group Inc. (NYSE: UNH) currently has a market cap of 144.05B.

UnitedHealth Group Inc. (NYSE: UNH) Average Daily Trading Volume

The stock’s average daily volume is 3,724,690 shares out of a total float 886,274,000 and some 377,520 shares traded hands yesterday, lower than normal. Swing traders often use upticks in trading volume to pinpoint large volume growth or distribution by institutional investors, so trading volume is likely to increase in the next few days.

While an increase in 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 signal to market traders that institutions may be moving in, so institutional sponsorship is crucial.

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

These professional investors have teams of analysts that research thousands of stocks. Thus, watching their interests is a good way to ensure you are buying the right stocks.

UnitedHealth Group Inc. (NYSE: UNH) 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 identifying trends, moving averages allow traders to make those trends work in their favor and increase the number of winning trades.

With that in mind, UnitedHealth Group Inc. (NYSE: UNH) now has a 50-day MA of $142.32 and 200-day MA of $139.36. It has traded in a 52-week range between $107.51 – 153.96 and today’s last price is 1.70%% lower than the 52 week high of $153.96.

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

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