Cathay General Bancorp (CATY) Shares Tick Up after Upgrade at Piper Jaffray Companies

Cathay General Bancorp (NASDAQ: CATY) shares rose in value on Thursday February 2 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, The Dow Jones Industrial Average DJIA, -0.10% fell 34 points, or 0.2%, to 19,858. The S&P 500 SPX, -0.11% lost 4 points to 2,276, a drop of 0.2%. The Nasdaq Composite Index COMP, -0.05% slid 16 points, or 0.3%, to 5,626. Among the most actively traded Nasdaq stocks was Facebook Inc FB, +0.31% which fell 0.7% a day after it reported its quarterly results.

Analysts at Piper Jaffray Companies upgraded shares of Cathay General Bancorp (NASDAQ: CATY) from Neutral to Overweight today. Piper Jaffray Companies currently has a rating of Overweight on the shares. As a means of comparison, a number of other analysts have issued reports on the company recently, and Cathay General Bancorp has earned a consensus one-year price target of $39.67, higher than the opening price of $36.89. Cathay General Bancorp stock has a 52-week high of $38.99. Share prices often shift to the upside on recommendations and new price targets of professional analysts.

Yesterday Cathay General Bancorp (NASDAQ: CATY) shares last traded at $36.40, which represents a spike of $0.01 compared to the previous closing price. Opening at $36.89, they ranged from $36.26 and $37.15 throughout the day.

Cathay General Bancorp (NASDAQ: CATY) currently has a market cap of 2.90B.

Cathay General Bancorp (NASDAQ: CATY) Average Daily Trading Volume

82,185 shares crossed the trading desk yesterday, 21 percent lower than the average, out of a total float 74,961,000. lower than normal. Look for trading volume to pick up in the coming days as swing traders often use increases 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 commonly refers to ownership of a stock by mutual funds, banks, pension funds and other large institutions.

These professional investors retain substantial teams of analysts that research thousands of stocks, so it is good confirmation to see them buying a stock you’re considering.

Cathay General Bancorp (NASDAQ: CATY) 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 Cathay General Bancorp (NASDAQ: CATY) have ranged from $25.66 – 38.99, and the stock now has a 50-day MA of $37.45 and 200-day MA of $33.09. Today’s last price is 6.64%% lower than the 52 week high of $38.99.

Indeed, earnings growth is among the most critical things to look at in regards to stock investing and, accordingly, investors seek companies that have increased their earnings by at least 25% for 3 consecutive years.

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