Mercantile Bank Corp. (MBWM) stock coverage started with “Market Perform” in note to investors by Hovde Group

Mercantile Bank Corp. (NASDAQ: MBWM) shares rose on Monday Nov 21 with lighter trade volume than normal after more analysts initiated coverage on the stock.

Meanwhile, stocks were set to open higher this morning. The Dow Jones Industrial Average futures YMZ6, +0.20% was 10 points, or less than 0.1%, higher at 18,863, while S&P 500 index futures ESZ6, +0.44% rose 3.95 points, or 0.2%, at 2,184.75. Nasdaq-100 NQZ6, +0.74% added 12.25 points, or 0.2%, to 4,820.75.

Analysts at Hovde Group initiated coverage on Mercantile Bank Corp. (NASDAQ: MBWM) stock, rating the company at Market Perform. With a rating of Market Perform on the stock, the company has a 52-week high of $33.33. The one-year price target of $28.50 is a decrease compared to the opening price of $33.04, causing a fair amount of other analysts to comment on the stock in recent days. Price changes targets are not unheard of as analysts and brokerage firms will issue periodic updates after beginning or initiating coverage.

Shares of Mercantile Bank Corp. (NASDAQ: MBWM) opened at $33.04 on Monday and traded in a range between, $32.50 and $33.33, and last traded at $33.03, which is a spike of $0.15 or 0.46% from the previous closing price.

Mercantile Bank Corp. (NASDAQ: MBWM) now has a market cap of 538.46M.

Mercantile Bank Corp. (NASDAQ: MBWM) Average Daily Trading Volume

1,693 shares crossed the trading desk yesterday, lower than normal, out of a total float 14,316,000. Swing traders often use swings in trading volume to determine heavy volume accumulation or distribution by institutional investors, so look for trading volume to pick up in the coming days.

However, one day of significant buy side trading is not enough to assert a trend. So market traders will continue to watch for institutional sponsorship as an indicator that financial institutions are moving forward.

Institutional sponsorship just refers to ownership of a stock by mutual funds, banks, pension funds and other large institutions.

These instituitional investors retain teams of analysts that investigate thousands of stocks. Thus, watching their interests is a good way to ensure you are buying the right stocks.

Mercantile Bank Corp. (NASDAQ: MBWM) 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 marking the activity of these professional investors—and the moving averages they influence— traders can make well planned trades.

With that in mind, Mercantile Bank Corp. (NASDAQ: MBWM) now has a 50-day MA of $28.19 and 200-day MA of $25.91. It has traded in a 52-week range between $20.84 – 33.33 and today’s last price is 0.91%% lower than the 52 week high of $33.33.

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

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