Southwest Airlines Company (LUV) Stock Price Target Moved to $59.00 at Imperial Capital

Southwest Airlines Company (NYSE: LUV) 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, increasing the price target of stock.

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.

Southwest Airlines Company (NYSE: LUV) had its price target boosted by equities researchers at Imperial Capital from $57.00 to $59.00. With a rating of Outperform on the shares, the company has a 52-week high of $52.20. As a means of comparison, a number of other analysts have spoken on the company in recent days, and the company has earned a consensus one-year price target of $58.97, higher than the opening price of $51.68, a difference of 11.45 percent.

Shares of Southwest Airlines Company (NYSE: LUV) opened at $51.68 yesterday and traded in a range between, $51.23 and $51.95, and last traded at $51.49, which is a decrease of $0.19 compared to the previous closing price.

Southwest Airlines Company (NYSE: LUV) now has a market cap of 31.70B.

Southwest Airlines Company (NYSE: LUV) Average Daily Trading Volume

339,360 shares traded hands yesterday, 3 percent lower than normal, out of a total float 614,415,000. lower than normal. Look for trading volume to pick up in the coming days as swing traders often use swings 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 is defined by ownership of a stock by mutual funds, banks, pension funds and other large institutions.

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

Southwest Airlines Company (NYSE: LUV) 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.

With that in mind, Southwest Airlines Company (NYSE: LUV) now has a 50-day MA of $49.46 and 200-day MA of $41.77. It has traded in a 52-week range between $33.96 – 52.20 and today’s last price is 1.36%% lower than the 52 week high of $52.20.

Earnings growth is an important factor to research when investing in stocks and investors watch for companies that have raised their earnings at least 25% or more for 3 consecutive years.

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