Halliburton Company (HAL) Stock Down After Price Target Increase at FBR & Co

Halliburton Company (NYSE: HAL) shares were down in early trading today on lighter trade volume than normal after a number of analysts weighed in on the investing value of the stock, boosting the price target of stock.

Meanwhile, U.S. stocks edged lower Monday, with major indexes retreating from record levels.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average DJIA, -0.31% fell 48 points, or 0.2%, to 19,916, while the S&P 500 index SPX, -0.29% lost 5 points to 2,272, a drop of 0.2%. The Nasdaq Composite Index COMP, -0.03% rose 4 points to 5,529, a gain of about 0.1%.

Halliburton Company (NYSE: HAL) had its price target boosted by equities researchers at FBR & Co from $58.00 to $69.00. FBR & Co currently has a rating of Outperform on the stock. As a means of comparison, a number of other analysts have spoken on the stock in recent days, and Halliburton Company has earned a consensus one-year price target of $59.44, above the opening price of $56.10. Halliburton Company stock has a 52-week high of $56.98.

Shares of Halliburton Company (NYSE: HAL) opened at $56.10 yesterday and traded in a range between, $56.00 and $56.33, and last traded at $56.22, which represents a drop of $0.44 from the previous closing price.

Halliburton Company (NYSE: HAL) now has a market cap of 48.60B.

Halliburton Company (NYSE: HAL) Average Daily Trading Volume

1,014,813 shares traded hands yesterday, 63 percent lower than the average, out of a total float 862,118,000. lower than normal. Look for trading volume to pick up in the coming days as investors often use increases 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 simply refers to ownership of a stock by mutual funds, banks, pension funds and other large institutions.

Institutional investors such as these have teams of analysts that research thousands of stocks, so it is good confirmation to see them buying a stock you are considering.

Halliburton Company (NYSE: HAL) 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 investors to make those trends work in their favor and increase the number of successful trades.

Trades for Halliburton Company (NYSE: HAL) have ranged from $27.64 – 56.98, and the stock now has a 50-day MA of $53.33 and 200-day MA of $46.86. Today’s last price is 1.33%% lower than the 52 week high of $56.98.

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

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