Anthem, Inc. (ANTM) shares fall following downgrade at Stifel Nicolaus

Anthem, Inc. (NYSE: ANTM) 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 Stifel Nicolaus downgraded shares of Anthem, Inc. (NYSE: ANTM) from Buy to Hold in a research note to investors today. With a rating of Hold on the stock, the company has a 52-week high of $148.26. As a means of comparison, a number of other analysts have spoken on the company recently, and the company has secured a consensus one-year price target of $157.00, higher than the opening price of $142.68, a difference of 11.01 percent. Important and integral changes in the company’s operations, future outlook or industry can cause downgrades as the analysts feel that the future prospects for the security have weakened from the initial recommendation.

Shares of Anthem, Inc. (NYSE: ANTM) opened at $142.68 on Tuesday trading between $142.03 and $143.85, and last traded at $142.63, a decrease of $0.61 per share or 0.00 compared to the previous closing price.

Anthem, Inc. (NYSE: ANTM) now has a market cap of 37.57B.

Anthem, Inc. (NYSE: ANTM) Average Daily Trading Volume

The stock’s average daily volume is 1,661,230 shares out of a total float 263,069,000 and some 90,757 shares traded hands yesterday, lower than 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.

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

Institutional sponsorship just refers to ownership of a stock by mutual funds, banks, pension funds and other large institutions.

These instituitional investors retain substantial teams of analysts that investigate thousands of stocks, so it is good confirmation to see them buying a stock you are considering.

Anthem, Inc. (NYSE: ANTM) 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 winning trades.

With that in mind, Anthem, Inc. (NYSE: ANTM) now has a 50-day MA of $143.63 and 200-day MA of $131.43. It has traded in a 52-week range between $114.85 – 148.260 and today’s last price is 0.04% lower than the 52 week high of $148.26.

Indeed, earnings growth is among the most critical things to look at in regards to stock investing and, accordingly, investors identify companies that have grown their earnings by at least 25% over a 3 year period.

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