Pinnacle Foods, Inc. (PF) stock coverage started with “Overweight” in note to investors by Piper Jaffray Companies

Pinnacle Foods, Inc. (NYSE: PF) shares rose in early trading today on lighter trade volume than normal after more analysts initiated coverage on the 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%.

Analysts at Piper Jaffray Companies initiated coverage on Pinnacle Foods, Inc. (NYSE: PF) stock, starting the company at Overweight. The company currently has a rating of Overweight on the stock. A number of other analysts have commented on the stock in recent days, and Pinnacle Foods, Inc. has secured a consensus one-year price target of $56.07, higher than the opening price of $53.50. Pinnacle Foods, Inc. stock has a 52-week high of $54.45. Changes in price targets are not uncommon as analysts and brokerage firms will publish periodic updates after initiating coverage,.

Shares of Pinnacle Foods, Inc. (NYSE: PF) opened at $53.50 yesterday trading between $53.19 and $53.69, and last traded at $53.33, which represents a jump of $0.06 over the previous closing price.

Pinnacle Foods, Inc. (NYSE: PF) now has a market cap of 6.30B.

Pinnacle Foods, Inc. (NYSE: PF) Average Daily Trading Volume

51,376 shares crossed the trading desk yesterday, 85 percent lower than the average, out of a total float 116,137,000. lower than normal. Look for trading volume to pick up in the coming days as swing traders often use upticks in trading volume to identify heavy volume accumulation or distribution by institutional investors.

While increased trading for short periods will not mean much will not mean much, conversely, a trend of heavy trading volume on the buy side over a period of days or weeks sends a positive signal to market traders that institutions may be moving in, so institutional sponsorship is very important.

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

Institutional investors such as these retain substantial teams of analysts researching thousands of stocks. So watching their interests is a good way to make sure you are buying the right stocks.

Pinnacle Foods, Inc. (NYSE: PF) 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 identifying trends, moving averages allow traders to make those trends work in their favor and increase the number of successful trades.

Trades for Pinnacle Foods, Inc. (NYSE: PF) have ranged from $39.15 – 54.45, and the stock now has a 50-day MA of $51.43 and 200-day MA of $49.87. Today’s last price is 2.06%% under the 52 week high of $54.45.

Indeed, earnings growth is among the most crucial things to look at in regards to stock investing and, accordingly, investors seek companies that have grown their earnings at least 25% or more over the past 3 years.

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