US Foods (USFD) Shares Active after Upgrade at Zacks Investment Research

US Foods (NASDAQ: USFD) 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 US Foods (NASDAQ: USFD) from Hold to Buy today. With a rating of Buy on the stock, the company has a 52-week high of $27.86. A number of other analysts have commented on the stock recently, and the company has earned a consensus one-year price target of $28.22, above the opening price of $26.22, a difference of 10.78 percent. Typically, after analysts issue an upgrade report on a stock, they will subsequently issue sporadic updates, often followed by a price target change.

Shares of US Foods (NASDAQ: USFD) opened at $26.22 yesterday and traded in a range between, $26.15 and $26.44, and last traded at $26.19, which is a jump of $0.02 compared to the previous closing price.

US Foods (NASDAQ: USFD) now has a market cap of 5.78B.

US Foods (NASDAQ: USFD) Average Daily Trading Volume

52,209 shares traded hands yesterday, 57 percent below the norm, out of a total float 52,924,000. lower than normal. Look for trading volume to pick up in the coming days as investors often use increases 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.

Institutional investors such as these retain teams of analysts that investigate thousands of stocks, so it is good corroboration to see them taking a postion in a stock you are researching.

US Foods (NASDAQ: USFD) 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, US Foods (NASDAQ: USFD) now has a 50-day MA of $25.96 and 200-day MA of $24.35. It has traded in a 52-week range between $22.19 – 27.86 and today’s last price is 5.99%% lower than the 52 week high of $27.86.

Indeed, earnings growth is among the most important things to look at in regards to stock investing and, accordingly, investors seek companies that have been successful at growing their earnings by at least 25% over the past 3 years.

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