NorthWestern Corporation (NWE) Shares Active after Upgrade at Zacks Investment Research

NorthWestern Corporation (NYSE: NWE) shares rose in value on Wednesday January 18 on slower trade volume than normal after a number of analysts weighed in on the investing value of the stock with a upgraded rating.

Meanwhile, in early trade today, the S&P 500 SPX, +0.00% was off 2 points, or 0.1%, at 2,265, shortly after open. The Nasdaq Composite COMP, +0.20% was flat at 5,537. The Dow Jones Industrial Average DJIA, -0.20% slipped 54 points or 0.3%, to 19,770.

Analysts at Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of NorthWestern Corporation (NYSE: NWE) from Sell to Hold today. With a rating of Hold on the stock, NorthWestern Corporation has a 52-week high of $63.75. As a means of comparison, a number of other analysts have issued reports on the stock recently, and NorthWestern Corporation has secured a consensus one-year price target of $56.75, lower than the opening price of $57.25, a difference of 9.88 percent. Share prices sometimes get a bounce to the upside when analysts upgrade a stock.

Shares of NorthWestern Corporation (NYSE: NWE) opened at $57.25 yesterday and traded in a range between, $57.25 and $57.60, and last traded at $57.46, a spike of $0.12 over the previous closing price.

NorthWestern Corporation (NYSE: NWE) now has a market cap of 2.78B.

NorthWestern Corporation (NYSE: NWE) Average Daily Trading Volume

17,778 shares crossed the trading desk yesterday, 66 percent below the average, out of a total float 48,023,000. lower than normal. Look for trading volume to pick up in the coming days as investors 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, 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 is defined by ownership of a stock by mutual funds, banks, pension funds and other large institutions.

These professional investors retain teams of analysts that investigate thousands of stocks, so it is good validation to see them buying a stock you’re researching.

NorthWestern Corporation (NYSE: NWE) 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 NorthWestern Corporation (NYSE: NWE) have ranged from $52.16 – 63.75, and the stock now has a 50-day MA of $56.72 and 200-day MA of $57.85. Today’s last price is 9.87%% under the 52 week high of $63.75.

Earnings growth is a crucial factor to look at when investing in stocks and investors watch for companies that have increased their earnings by at least 25% for a 3 year period.

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