Some individual investors may rely heavily on Wall Street analyst opinions when conducting their own stock research. Focusing in on shares of eBay Inc. (NASDAQ:EBAY), we have seen that the average broker rating is currently 2.07. This average rating follows a numerical scale where a 1 would signify a Strong Buy rating, and a 5 would indicate a Strong Sell rating. Out of the sell-side analysts polled by Zacks Research, 13 have given the stock a Strong Buy or Buy rating.

With the stock market still riding high, bear market scenarios may not be at the forefront of the average investor’s mind. There are plenty of professionals out there that are predicting that the markets will be turning south in the near future. There are others who believe that the bulls are still in control, and they will be leading the charge higher over the next few months. Nobody knows for sure which scenario will play out, but being ready for any market situation may turn out to be a portfolio savior in the long-term. Any time the stock market drops sharply or sees sustained losses, investors may start to worry. These declines are usually followed by extreme headlines from financial news outlets. It is important to remember that corrections are a normal part of market cycles. Being able to control panic and pessimism may be a great skill for the investor to use when times get tough. Knowing exactly what stocks are in the portfolio can help make unsettling market conditions bearable for investors. If the hard research has been done and the plan is in motion, there may not be any need to second guess and cause more problems before things turn around and smooth out.

Zooming in on the current quarter EPS consensus estimate for eBay Inc. (NASDAQ:EBAY), we see that the current number is 0.63. This EPS estimate is using 27 Wall Street analysts polled by Zacks Research. Last quarter, the company stated a quarterly EPS of 0.67. Sell-side analysts have the task of examining companies and providing estimates relating to future results. These estimates carry a lot of weight on the Street, and earnings hits or misses revolve around these numbers. Sometimes these predictions are very close to the actual reported number, and other times they are not. Many investors will be closely watching which way analyst estimates are being adjusted right before earnings. This may provide some insight on how good or bad the numbers for the quarter are likely to be. Investors might want to take a look at their holdings after the earnings reports to make sure that nothing extremely out of the ordinary after combing through the results.

Individual investors might be looking at all the angles in order to concoct a winning plan for the next few quarters. The diligent investor is typically on the ball and ready to encounter any unforeseen market movements. Monitoring recent stock price activity on shares of eBay Inc. (NASDAQ:EBAY) we have noted that the stock price has been trading near $39.54. Turning the focus to some historical price information, we note that the stock has moved 9.14% over the previous 12 weeks. Since the start of the year, we note that shares have seen a change of 40.86%. Over the last 4 weeks, shares have seen a change of 3.73%. Over the last 5 sessions, the stock has moved -0.88%. After a recent scan, we can see that the 52-week high is currently $40.13, and the 52-week low is presently $26.14.

Following shares of eBay Inc. (NASDAQ:EBAY), we can see that the average consensus target price based on contributing analysts is currently $40.33. Wall Street analysts often provide price target projections on where they believe the stock will be headed in the future. Because price target projections are essentially the opinions of covering analysts, they have the ability to vary widely from one analyst to another. Navigating the equity markets can seem daunting at times. Finding ways to identify the important data can make a big difference in sustaining profits into the future. As we move closer to the end of the year, investors will be watching to see which way the momentum shifts and if stocks are still primed to go higher. Investors might choose to rely heavily on analyst research and corresponding target predictions, or they may choose to use them as a guide to supplement their own research.

Investors might be looking at their stock holdings and trying to gauge which ones will break out to new highs. Many investors will keep a close eye on stocks that are trading near popular marks such as the 52-week high. Stocks trading near 52-week lows also tend to garner additional attention. When a stock is flirting with a new 52-week high, investors may have to decide whether to cash in to lock in profits or wait to see if a breakthrough is going to happen. Companies that are teetering near the 52-week low may be worth taking a look at. Studying the fundamentals may show that the stock should be performing better than it is. This might be the time to think about purchasing shares that for whatever reason may have fallen out of favor with investors. Crunching the numbers and doing full analysis of stocks that have been trending down may help lead to some discoveries that could turn out to be highly valuable if and when the momentum shifts to the upside.