Alaska Air Group, Inc. (ALK) stock steady after being downgraded at Cowen and Company

Alaska Air Group, Inc. (NYSE: ALK) shares fell on Wednesday Jan 4 with lower trade volume than normal after a number of analysts weighed in on the investing value of the stock with a downgraded rating.

Meanwhile, U.S. stocks opened higher on Wednesday as banking stocks led the Dow Jones Industrial Average closer to the 20,000 milestone.

The Dow DJIA, +0.18% gained 25 points, or 0.1%, to 19,906. The S&P 500 SPX, +0.36% climbed four points, or 0.2%, to 2,262. The Nasdaq Composite Index COMP, +0.50% added 13 points, or 0.3%, to 5,447.

Analysts at Cowen and Company downgraded shares of Alaska Air Group, Inc. (NYSE: ALK) from Outperform to Market Perform in a research note to investors today. Cowen and Company currently has a rating of Market Perform on the shares. A number of other analysts have commented on the company recently, and Alaska Air Group, Inc. has secured a consensus one-year price target of $97.19, higher than the opening price of $87.55, a difference of 11.07 percent. Alaska Air Group, Inc. stock has a 52-week high of $91.89. Downgrades are more likely when analysts consider that the future prospects for the security have weakened from the initial recommendation, usually caused by an important and crucial change in the company’s procedures, future outlook or industry.

Shares of Alaska Air Group, Inc. (NYSE: ALK) opened at $87.55 on Tuesday and has traded in a range between, $86.64 and $88.74, and last traded at $87.82, which represents a dip of $0.18 per share or 0.00 from the previous closing price.

Alaska Air Group, Inc. (NYSE: ALK) currently has a market cap of 10.83B.

Alaska Air Group, Inc. (NYSE: ALK) Average Daily Trading Volume

The stock’s average daily volume is 1,180,180 shares out of a total float 122,772,000 and some 215,936 shares crossed the trading desk yesterday, below normal. 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 just refers to ownership of a stock by mutual funds, banks, pension funds and other large institutions.

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

Alaska Air Group, Inc. (NYSE: ALK) 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 tracking the activity of these professional investors—and the moving averages they affect—it allows for traders to make more effective decisions on trades.

Trades for Alaska Air Group, Inc. (NYSE: ALK) have ranged from $54.51 – 91.8900, and the stock now has a 50-day MA of $85.61 and 200-day MA of $71.41. Today’s last price is 0.04% below the 52 week high of $91.89.

Indeed, earnings growth is among the most crucial things to look at in regards to stock investing and, accordingly, investors watch for companies that have been successful at growing their earnings at least 25% or more for 3 consecutive years.

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