Progressive Corporation (The) (PGR) shares fall following downgrade at Zacks Investment Research

Progressive Corporation (The) (NYSE: PGR) 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 opened significantly lower in early trading. The Dow Jones Industrial Average was 58 points lower, or 0.29% to 19895, the S&P 500 fell 7 points, or 0.28% to 2268, while the Nasdaq dropped 22 points, or 0.38% to 5542.

Analysts at Zacks Investment Research downgraded shares of Progressive Corporation (The) (NYSE: PGR) 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 $36.59. The one-year price target of $34.79 is a decrease compared to the opening price of $36.30, causing a fair amount of other analysts to report 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 weakened from the original recommendation.

Shares of Progressive Corporation (The) (NYSE: PGR) opened at $36.30 yesterday and traded in a range between, $36.10 and $36.30, and last traded at $36.12, which is a drop of $0.35 from the previous closing price.

Progressive Corporation (The) (NYSE: PGR) currently has a market cap of 20.98B.

Progressive Corporation (The) (NYSE: PGR) Average Daily Trading Volume

The stock’s average daily volume is 2,969,180 shares out of a total float 577,023,000 and some 72,100 shares traded hands yesterday, 22 percent below the norm. lower than normal. Look for trading volume to pick up in the coming days as momentum traders often use upticks in trading volume to identify heavy volume accumulation or distribution by institutional investors.

While increased trading for one day will not mean much, however, 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 have substantial teams of analysts researching thousands of stocks, so it is good validation to see them buying a stock you are considering.

Progressive Corporation (The) (NYSE: PGR) 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, Progressive Corporation (The) (NYSE: PGR) now has a 50-day MA of $34.87 and 200-day MA of $32.96. It has traded in a 52-week range between $29.32 – 36.59 and today’s last price is 1.28%% lower than the 52 week high of $36.59.

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

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