Top Analyst Upgrades and Downgrades: American Express, Dynegy, BP, Goldman Sachs, Kinder Morgan, Select Comfort and More

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Stocks were looking for direction on Thursday morning. This is after the final presidential debate between Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton, and after the European Central Bank voted to leave rates on hold and commit to asset buying through March (or longer, if needed). Earnings season has gotten off to a decent start, and investors still seem willing to buy each pullback despite high valuations and a seven-and-a-half-year-old bull market. Those same investors are also looking for new ideas to generate gains or income ahead.

24/7 Wall St. reviews dozens of analyst research reports each morning. The goal is to find new investing and trading ideas for our readers. Some analyst research reports cover stocks to buy, and some reports feature stocks to sell or to avoid.

These are the top analyst upgrades, downgrades and initiations seen on Thursday morning:

American Express Co. (NYSE: AXP) closed up 2% at $61.25 on Wednesday and was indicated up 6% at $65.00 after earnings and guidance managed to beat expectations. The stock was raised to Neutral from Underperform at Merrill Lynch. It has a 52-week trading range of $50.27 to $74.97, and it had a consensus analyst target price of $67.18.

Dynegy Inc. (NYSE: DYN) was downgraded to Sector Perform from Outperform and the price target was cut to $15 from $22 (versus a $13.37 prior close) at RBC Capital Markets. The shares have a 52-week range of $7.20 to $22.19 and a consensus price target of $20.96.

BP PLC (NYSE: BP) was downgraded to Neutral from Buy at UBS. Its American depositary shares closed up 0.2% at $36.05 on Wednesday and were indicated down 0.4% on Thursday. Its 52-week range is $27.01 to $37.53, and the consensus price target is $37.09.

Goldman Sachs Group Inc. (NYSE: GS) was raised to Buy from Neutral at Guggenheim. The stock closed up 1.1% at $175.51 on Wednesday and was indicated up marginally at $174.95 on Thursday. The 52-week range is $138.20 to $199.90, and the consensus price target is $186.36.

Kinder Morgan Inc. (NYSE: KMI) was raised to Buy from Hold with a $24 price target at Stifel, and it was raised to Outperform from Peer Perform at a firm called Wolfe Research. Credit Suisse raised its rating to Outperform from Neutral and raised its target to $25 in a re-upgrade. Shares closed up 2.6% at $20.71 ahead of earnings and were last seen up 3.5% at $21.44 early Thursday. The 52-week range is $11.20 to $31.42, and the prior consensus analyst target was $24.00.

Select Comfort Corp. (NASDAQ: SCSS) closed up 2% at $21.58 but was last seen down 18% at $17.64 on Thursday after earnings disappointed. It was downgraded to Underperform from Neutral at Merrill Lynch. Wedbush maintained an Outperform rating but lowered its target price to $25 from $27.

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Other key analyst upgrades and downgrades were seen as follows: