Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. (WMT) stock slips, “Neutral” rating reiterated by Buckingham Research Analysts

Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. (NYSE: WMT) shares fell on Tuesday February 14 on 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 U.S. stocks opened slightly lower on Tuesday. The main three benchmarks retreated after touching the latest in a series of record highs on Monday, with the S&P 500 index SPX, -0.09% down two points, or 0.1%, to 2,326.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average DJIA, -0.02% fell 34 points, or 0.2%, to 20,381. The Nasdaq Composite Index COMP, -0.13% shed eight points, or 0.1%, to 5,756.

Buckingham Research analysts reiterated its Neutral rating on Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. (NYSE: WMT) in a note to investors, making it one of the more closely watched stocks on Wall Street. The company currently has a rating of Neutral on the stock. A number of other analysts have commented on the company in recent days, and the company has earned a consensus one-year price target of $74.25, higher than the opening price of $67.88. Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. stock has a 52-week high of $75.19. Share prices often shift to the upside on recommendations and new price targets of professional brokerage firms.

Yesterday Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. (NYSE: WMT) shares last traded at $67.77, which is a drop of $0.01 from the previous closing price. Opening at $67.88, they varied from $67.76 and $68.25 throughout the day.

Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. (NYSE: WMT) now has a market cap of 208.25B.

Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. (NYSE: WMT) Average Daily Trading Volume

The stock’s average daily volume is 8,831,410 shares out of a total float 1,454,510,000 and some 864,012 shares traded hands yesterday, 60 percent below the norm. lower than normal. Look for trading volume to pick up in the coming days as investors often use upticks 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.

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

Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. (NYSE: WMT) 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 investors to make those trends work in their favor and increase the number of successful trades.

Trades for Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. (NYSE: WMT) have ranged from $62.35 – 75.190, and the stock now has a 50-day MA of $67.77 and 200-day MA of $70.30. Today’s last price is 9.88%% below the 52 week high of $75.19.

Indeed, earnings growth is among the most critical things to look at in regards to stock investing and, accordingly, investors seek companies that have increased their earnings at least 25% or more for a 3 year period.

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