Investors might be trying to gauge which way shares of Laredo Petroleum, Inc. (NYSE:LPI) will swing over the next couple of quarters. In recent trading activity, the stock has been seen near the $3.86 level. Many investors pay increased attention to shares when they are nearing notable historical highs or lows. Over the past 52 weeks, the stock has touched a high price of 11, and seen a low price of 3.04. Looking at some additional historical stock price information, we note that shares have seen a move -24.16% over the previous 12 weeks. If we pull in closer to look at performance over the past month, we see that shares have seen a change of 3.76%. Over the last 5 trading sessions, the stock has moved 11.56%. Investors will most likely be keeping their eyes peeled to see how the stock performs heading into the next round of earnings reports.

For the average investor, figuring out how to best approach the stock market can be challenging. Many investors have probably seen at least one of their prized stocks take off in the last year, and they may be wondering which one is next. With the stock market still trading at super high levels, investors may be worried that a major shift will occur in the near future. Looking back over the first part of this year, investors may not have too much to fidget within the portfolio. If the stock market decides to reverse course and take a turn for the worse, investors may start questioning their strategy and become somewhat worried. Drastic shifts in the markets happen from time to time. Investors who are prepared for volatile market environments may be much better suited to weather the storm than those who are not. Crafting a plan that accounts for the regular ups and downs of the market may be a wise choice for the individual investor. This may mean shifting the mindset to be on the lookout for opportunities when they become available. Investors who have done the research and planning might be more secure in their stock choices should turbulent times arise.

Following some earnings data for Laredo Petroleum, Inc. (NYSE:LPI), we note that the current quarter EPS consensus estimate is 0.1. This EPS estimate is using data provided by 3 sell-side analysts polled by Zacks Research. This consensus estimate may vary from other data outlets providing consensus projections. Last quarter, the company reported a quarterly EPS of 0.16. Investors often pay extra close to the actual numbers when they are reported. If the actual comes in way under what the analysts were predicting, investors might want to take a deeper look to see what is going on with the stock. Investors may also be on the lookout for positive surprises on earnings beats. When a company reports actual earnings results, the surprise factor may cause the stock price to move sharply in either direction. Because it is difficult to gauge how a stock will react after the earnings report, investors may trade with increased caution during this period of time.

Investors tracking shares of Laredo Petroleum, Inc. (NYSE:LPI) may be closely following analyst price target estimates. Reviewing company shares, we can see that the current average target price is 6.39. Keeping track of all the day to day stock market happenings can sometimes be a burden, even for the most seasoned investors. Investors may use sell-side analyst target estimates to help figure out if their assumptions about the future direction of a particular stock price are shared. Of course, nobody can project the future stock price of a company with exact precision. Investors may use analyst target prices as a good starting point for comparing current stock prices and making educated projections themselves.

Traders may be going deeper into the playbook in order to scoop up profits in the current stock market environment. The first half of the year has produced plenty of big winners. Investors will be closely monitoring the most recent earnings releases to hopefully spot the next big mover. Traders may be looking to more closely define some major trends in order to identify which way the momentum is going to carry the stock market into the close of the calendar year. Keeping track of all the financial news and global happenings can be a tall order, even for the most seasoned investors. Staying the course while following a sound investing plan can help the individual investor become prepared for whatever lies ahead. The optimists still believe there is much more room for growth in the markets while the pessimists are calling for a major reversal in the near future. Traders and investors will be closely tracking the major economic news to help come to a solid conclusion about which way the markets are headed. Staying up on the fundamentals as well as the popular technical indicators may help the investor sort through the maze and prepare for the next stage.

After a recent stock review, we can see that Laredo Petroleum, Inc. (NYSE:LPI) currently has an average broker rating of 3. Based on analysts polled by Zacks Research, this rating lands on an easy to follow scale from 1 to 5 where a 1 would indicate a Strong Buy and a 5 would represent a Strong Sell recommendation. Sell-side analysts often provide recommendations for stocks that they regularly cover. Different institutions may use various terminologies for how they describe their ratings. Because individual analyst ratings can vary, investors may choose to follow the average in order to track the general sell-side sentiment. Looking a little further, we can see that 3 polled analysts currently have the stock rated as a Strong Buy or Buy.

For the novice investor, the stock market can sometimes be a scary place. Many investors may be ready to jump into the ring, but they might not have the proper training. Finding a stock market strategy that puts the investor on the winning side is not an easy task. There is a plentiful amount of information regarding the equity market. Knowing what information to focus on can be the key to sustained success. Investors who are able to sift through the noise and stick to a sturdy stock picking plan, may be in a much better position when tough portfolio decisions need to be made. Many investors will instinctually want to jump in to a stock that has taken off running. Sometimes this may work out positively, but it can also lead to significant losses and second guessing. If all the proper research is completed, investors may feel more at ease with their selections going forward. Of course there will be times when the research does not turn into expected profits, but knowing how to let go of those stocks may help the investor in the long run.  

There are various factors to examine when looking at what spurs growth in the stock market. Many investors will monitor macro-economic factors that influence the price of shares. Some of these factors include the overall condition of the economy and market sentiment. Following the macro factors, investors may employ a top down approach when viewing the equity markets. This may include starting with a sector poised for growth and filtering down to specific stock that meet the investor’s criteria. Another way to approach the stock market is to view the micro-economic factors that influence stocks. This may include studying company profits, news, and the competence of overall management. Investors will often try to piece together all the different information available in order to select stocks that will have a positive impact on the long-term strength of the portfolio.

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