Monsanto Company (MON) stock slips after being downgraded at Zacks Investment Research

Monsanto Company (NYSE: MON) shares fell in early trading yesterday 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 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%.

Shares of Monsanto Company (NYSE: MON) were downgraded by analysts at Zacks Investment Research in a note to their investors today. With a rating of Hold on the shares, Monsanto Company has a 52-week high of $114.26. The one-year price target of $119.81 is above the opening price of $108.00, causing a number of other analysts to comment on the stock recently. Important and major changes in the company’s actions, future direction or industry can cause downgrades as the analysts consider that the future prospects for the security have dropped from the original recommendation.

Shares of Monsanto Company (NYSE: MON) opened at $108.00 yesterday and traded in a range between, $107.40 and $108.20, and last traded at $107.58, which represents a drop of $0.55 from the previous closing price.

Monsanto Company (NYSE: MON) currently has a market cap of 47.18B.

Monsanto Company (NYSE: MON) Average Daily Trading Volume

401,878 shares traded hands yesterday, 37 percent below normal, out of a total float 437,734,000. lower than normal. Look for trading volume to pick up in the coming days as investors often use swings 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 is defined by ownership of a stock by mutual funds, banks, pension funds and other large institutions.

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

Monsanto Company (NYSE: MON) 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 Monsanto Company (NYSE: MON) have ranged from $83.73 – 114.26, and the stock now has a 50-day MA of $104.38 and 200-day MA of $103.83. Today’s last price is 5.85%% under the 52 week high of $114.26.

Earnings growth is a critical factor to research when buying stocks and investors identify companies that have increased their earnings by at least 25% over a 3 year period.

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