well, you were right and wrong... nice move, no insti. Up over 2% on microscopic volume. If the price has to go up that much on a crappy day just to shake loose 1600 shares, I can't imagine what it would do on good news. Well, actually, I can, ;) just wish I had some clue on earns direction.
I agree with your observation. there has not been any significant institutional buying (or selling) for quite some time. I think that everyone is in a holding pattern until earnings.
Something to consider regarding instiutional buying: when the stock price climbs above about 41.50 per share, the market cap will be over $100M. This should significantly increase institutional interest in the stock, leading to further poreassure to the upside. One very good earnings report could lead to momentum carrying us up near $50 per share.
on the contrary, I think the buying today is being done by the same institution. Just because the volume is low does not mean it is institutional buying. Buying 20,000 into light volume would simply be buying too much considering the illiquid nature of UUU right now, and thus paying too high a premium for this solid company. Small bites may cost more as far as trading costs are concerned, but more likely to allow a large buyer to buy a larger amount at lower prices over the long term.