Westpac Banking Corp. (WBK) stock remains unchanged after upgrade at Zacks Investment Research

Westpac Banking Corp. (NYSE: WBK) shares traded mostly even in value 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 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 Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Westpac Banking Corp. (NYSE: WBK) from Sell to Hold today. With a rating of Hold on the stock, Westpac Banking Corp. has a 52-week high of $25.32. As a means of comparison, a number of other analysts have commented on the company recently, and Westpac Banking Corp. has secured a consensus one-year price target of $26.22, higher than the opening price of $23.49. Share prices sometimes get a jump to the upside when analysts upgrade a stock.

Shares of Westpac Banking Corp. (NYSE: WBK) opened at $23.49 on Tuesday trading between $23.32 and $23.49, and last traded at $23.32.

Westpac Banking Corp. (NYSE: WBK) currently has a market cap of 77.82B.

Westpac Banking Corp. (NYSE: WBK) Average Daily Trading Volume

9,096 shares crossed the trading desk yesterday, lower than the average, out of a total float 3,250,384,000. Trading volume is likely to increase in the next few days as momentum traders often use swings in trading volume to pinpoint heavy volume growth or distribution by institutional investors.

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

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

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

Westpac Banking Corp. (NYSE: WBK) 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 successful trades.

With that in mind, Westpac Banking Corp. (NYSE: WBK) now has a 50-day MA of $23.27 and 200-day MA of $22.65. It has traded in a 52-week range between $19.83 – 25.32 and today’s last price is 7.90%% lower than the 52 week high of $25.32.

Earnings growth is a crucial factor to look at when buying stocks and investors look for companies that have grown their earnings at least 25% or more over a 3 year period.

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