W.R. Grace & Co. (GRA) Stock Up After Upgrade at Robert W. Baird

W.R. Grace & Co. (NYSE: GRA) shares rose in value on Tuesday February 7 on slower trade volume than normal after a number of analysts weighed in on the investing value of the stock with a upgraded rating.

U.S. stocks were up in early trade on Tuesday which could put the equity market on track to set new records.

Investors were focusing on earnings, with GM and Michael Kors making moves after reporting early.

S&P 500 futures ESH7, +0.31% rose 7 points, or 0.3%, to 2,293.50, while Dow Jones Industrial Average futures YMH7, +0.46% tacked on 70 points, or 0.4%, to 20,042. Nasdaq-100 futures NQH7, +0.48% added 14 points, or 0.3%, to 5,171.75.

Analysts at Robert W. Baird upgraded shares of W.R. Grace & Co. (NYSE: GRA) from Neutral to Outperform today. With a rating of Outperform on the shares, W.R. Grace & Co. has a 52-week high of $80.56. The one-year price target of $80.30 is above the opening price of $72.07, resulting a fair amount of other analysts to comment on the company recently. Typically, after analysts assign an upgrade report on a stock, they will subsequently issue sporadic revisions, often followed by a price target change.

Shares of W.R. Grace & Co. (NYSE: GRA) opened at $72.07 yesterday trading between $71.23 and $73.13, and last traded at $71.77, an increase of $0.77 compared to the previous closing price.

W.R. Grace & Co. (NYSE: GRA) currently has a market cap of 5.03B.

W.R. Grace & Co. (NYSE: GRA) Average Daily Trading Volume

300,601 shares traded hands yesterday, 112 percent below the norm, out of a total float 69,586,000. lower than normal. Look for trading volume to pick up in the coming days as swing traders often use increases in trading volume to identify heavy volume accumulation or distribution by institutional investors.

However, a single day of heavy buy side trading is not enough to assert a trend. As such, market traders will continue to watch for institutional sponsorship as a signal that financial institutions are moving forward.

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

Professional investors such as these retain substantial teams of analysts researching thousands of stocks, so it is good validation to see them taking a postion in a stock you’re considering.

W.R. Grace & Co. (NYSE: GRA) 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, W.R. Grace & Co. (NYSE: GRA) now has a 50-day MA of $69.10 and 200-day MA of $71.33. It has traded in a 52-week range between $63.37 – 80.560 and today’s last price is 10.92%% lower than the 52 week high of $80.56.

Earnings growth is an important factor to look at when investing in stocks and investors identify companies that have been successful at growing their earnings at least 25% or more over 3 consecutive years.

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