The 5 Unusual Analyst Upgrades & Downgrades of the Day (AKS, DUK, MCD, SKX, TPX)

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24/7 Wall St. tracks the major analyst upgrades, downgrades, and initiations from Wall Street research firms each morning.  After looking through these calls and others that were either made during the trading or which were not seen early on, you can always find some analyst calls which stood out for better or worse.  These are the unusual analyst calls of the day and we have outlined each.

AK Steel Holding Corporation (NYSE: AKS) went from bad to worse today on analyst actions.  The first downgrade was the big one where Goldman Sachs cut the rating to SELL from an already cautious NEUTRAL rating.  The other downgrade was from Dahlman Rose who cut the rating to Hold.  Effectively both firms are saying that the downturn is worse than expected on business and on margins.  AK Steel was down 14% at $4.98 late in the day.  Keep in mind that the 52-week range before today was $5.51 to $16.75.

Duke Energy Corporation (NYSE: DUK) should have benefitted from an analyst upgrade on the surface, bu this stock managed to hit a 52-week high only momentarily because the move is after shares have rallied about 10% since April.  The utility was upgraded to Outperform at Credit Suisse.  Shares hit a new year high of $23.32 earlier but that was short-lived and shares were down 0.3% at $23.09 late in the day.

McDonald’s Corporation (NYSE: MCD) was not really a bold call, but this highlight just how much more the analyst community continues to worry about this fast food giant.  The Golden Arches was maintained as Outperform on the Credit Suisse Focus List but its target was cut to $104 per share.  This stock is not acting defensively right now and shares were down 0.8% at $87.04 late in the day.

Skechers USA Inc. (NYSE: SKX) is having another turnaround success day and shares are higher by 3.7% when the DJIA went into the red. The analyst call here was from Stern Agee, which raised the rating to Buy based upon continued turnaround hopes.  If this $20.02 holds today then this will mark a year-high close.

Tempur Pedic International Inc. (NYSE: TPX) was butchered so hard last week that you would wonder first off how any analyst can still downgrade the stock and second off how the market would care that the downgrade came.  This bedding giant was downgraded to Market Perform at William Blair and shares are down almost 6% at $24.01 on the day. Boy, 6% more after getting cut in half, just on an analyst call…

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JON C. OGG

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