MFA Financial, Inc. (MFA) Shares Slip, Investors Watching Closely, Here is Why

MFA Financial, Inc. (NYSE: MFA) shares rose 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.

U.S. stocks flipped between small losses and gains early Tuesday morning as investors maintained a cautious stance following a sharp postelection rally.

The S&P 500 index SPX, -0.04% was off by about 1 point, or less than 0.1%, at 2,267, with seven of the 11 main sectors trading lower. The Dow Jones Industrial Average DJIA, -0.13% was off 33 points, or 0.2%, to 19,853.

Meanwhile, the Nasdaq Composite Index COMP, +0.05% traded in record territory, after closing at an all-time high for the second session in a row on Monday.

Analysts at Zacks Investment Research downgraded shares of MFA Financial, Inc. (NYSE: MFA) from Hold to Sell in a research note to investors today. The company currently has a rating of Sell on the shares. A number of other analysts have commented on the company in recent days, and MFA Financial, Inc. has earned a consensus one-year price target of $7.67, less than the opening price of $7.82, a difference of 9.80 percent. MFA Financial, Inc. stock has a 52-week high of $8.05. Downgrades are more likely when analysts consider that the future prospects for the security have diminished from the initial recommendation, usually due to an important and fundamental change in the company’s operations, future vision or industry.

Shares of MFA Financial, Inc. (NYSE: MFA) opened at $7.82 yesterday and traded in a range between, $7.79 and $7.86, and last traded at $7.83, which represents a spike of $0.03 from the previous closing price.

MFA Financial, Inc. (NYSE: MFA) now has a market cap of 2.90B.

MFA Financial, Inc. (NYSE: MFA) Average Daily Trading Volume

299,099 shares crossed the trading desk yesterday, 86 percent lower than the average, out of a total float 368,097,000. lower than normal. Look for trading volume to pick up in the coming days as momentum traders 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.

These professional investors have teams of analysts that research thousands of stocks. So watching their interests is a good way to ensure you are buying the right stocks.

MFA Financial, Inc. (NYSE: MFA) 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 winning trades.

With that in mind, MFA Financial, Inc. (NYSE: MFA) now has a 50-day MA of $7.78 and 200-day MA of $7.54. It has traded in a 52-week range between $5.61 – 8.050 and today’s last price is 2.80%% lower than the 52 week high of $8.05.

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

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