Aetna Inc. (AET) Stock Up After Upgrade at Zacks Investment Research

Aetna Inc. (NYSE: AET) shares rose in value Thursday December 29 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 were little changed in early trade Thursday. The S&P 500 SPX, +0.04% rose 0.1% to 2,252, while the Dow DJIA, +0.04% advanced 16 points to 19,850. The Nasdaq Composite COMP, -0.04% was virtually flat at 5,439.

Analysts at Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Aetna Inc. (NYSE: AET) from Sell to Hold today. With a rating of Hold on the shares, the company has a 52-week high of $136.50. The one-year price target of $138.93 is above the opening price of $124.86, causing a number of other analysts to report on the company recently. Stock prices often trend to the upside on recommendations and new price targets of professional brokerage firms.

Aetna Inc. (NYSE: AET) shares last traded at $124.65, a spike of $0.07 or 0.06% over the previous closing price. Opening at $124.86, they varied from $124.32 and $125.36 throughout the day.

Aetna Inc. (NYSE: AET) currently has a market cap of 43.74B.

Aetna Inc. (NYSE: AET) Average Daily Trading Volume

122,765 shares traded hands yesterday, lower than the average, out of a total float 341,320,000. Look for trading volume to pick up in the coming days as momentum traders often use increases in trading volume to pinpoint heavy volume growth or circulation by institutional investors.

As with all potential breakouts, investors watch for volume to be at least 40%-50% above normal on the breakout to demonstrate that fund managers and other professional investors are jumping in.

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

Professional investors such as these have 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.

Aetna Inc. (NYSE: AET) 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 spotting trends, moving averages allow traders to make those trends work in their favor and increase the number of successful trades.

Trades for Aetna Inc. (NYSE: AET) have ranged from $92.42 – 136.50, and the stock now has a 50-day MA of $126.66 and 200-day MA of $118.54. Today’s last price is 8.68%% under the 52 week high of $136.50.

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

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