LPL Financial Holdings Inc. (LPLA) Shares Active after Upgrade at Zacks Investment Research

LPL Financial Holdings Inc. (NASDAQ: LPLA) shares slid back in value Thursday December 29 with lighter 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 LPL Financial Holdings Inc. (NASDAQ: LPLA) from Hold to Buy today. With a rating of Buy on the stock, the company has a 52-week high of $43.89. A number of other analysts have commented on the stock recently, and LPL Financial Holdings Inc. has earned a consensus one-year price target of $34.67, a decrease compared to the opening price of $35.60. Share prices sometimes get a bounce to the upside when analysts upgrade a stock.

Shares of LPL Financial Holdings Inc. (NASDAQ: LPLA) opened at $35.60 on Tuesday and has traded in a range between, $35.39 and $35.85, and last traded at $35.50, which is a drop of $0.16 per share or -0.45% from the previous closing price.

LPL Financial Holdings Inc. (NASDAQ: LPLA) currently has a market cap of 3.16B.

LPL Financial Holdings Inc. (NASDAQ: LPLA) Average Daily Trading Volume

The stock’s average daily volume is 1,052,930 shares out of a total float 53,089,000 and some 18,864 shares traded hands yesterday, below the norm. Trading volume is likely to increase in the next few days as swing traders often use upticks in trading volume to determine large volume aggregation or circulation by institutional investors.

While higher trading for short periods will not mean much, however, a trend of heavy trading volume on the buy side over a series of days or weeks expresses a positive indicator 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 retain substantial teams of analysts researching thousands of stocks, so it is good corroboration to see them taking a postion in a stock you are researching.

LPL Financial Holdings Inc. (NASDAQ: LPLA) 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 following the activity of these professional investors and how they affect moving averages,it allows for traders to make more impactful judgments on trades.

Trades for LPL Financial Holdings Inc. (NASDAQ: LPLA) have ranged from $15.38 – 43.89, and the stock now has a 50-day MA of $37.87 and 200-day MA of $30.17. Today’s last price is 19.12%% below the 52 week high of $43.89.

Earnings growth is an important factor to look at when buying stocks and investors seek companies that have increased their earnings at least 25% or more for the past 3 years.

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