Monday brought on a trifecta for investors as the Dow, S&P 500 and Nasdaq all three hit all-time highs. Post-election fever just keeps on going. Still, stocks were only moderately higher on Tuesday morning. Investors have proven over and over that they will buy the market on any real pullback. Those same investors are also looking for new ideas to generate gains or income.
24/7 Wall St. reviews dozens of analyst research reports each morning of the week to find new investing and trading ideas for our readers. Some analyst research reports cover stocks to buy, and other analyst calls cover stocks to sell or stocks to avoid.
There are several issues to keep in mind about the gains we have seen over the last two weeks. Bond yields have risen, the Fed wants to hike, stocks are at high earnings multiples, and the bull market is now nearing eight years old. Some of the key stocks that are beneficiaries of the election have even risen 15% to 20% in the last two weeks.
These are the top analyst upgrades, downgrades and initiations seen Tuesday morning:
Duke Energy Corp. (NYSE: DUK) was downgraded to Underperform from Neutral and the price objective was cut to $69 from $78 (versus $74.43 close) at BofA Merrill Lynch. Duke Energy has a 52-week range of $65.50 to $87.75 and it has a consensus analyst target price of $81.88.
Ford Motor Co. (NYSE: F) was started with a Sell rating at Berenberg, and the firm’s target is $10 (versus $11.79 close). Ford has a 52-week range of $11.02 to $14.68 and it has a consensus analyst price target of $12.72.
General Motors Company (NYSE: GM) was started with a Sell rating at Berenberg, and the firm’s target is $29 (versus $33.01 close). GM’s 52-week range is $26.69 to $36.88 and it has a consensus analyst price target of $35.94.
Huntington Bancshares Inc. (NASDAQ: HBAN) was raised to Outperform from Neutral with a $14 price target (versus $12.44 close) at Macquarie. Huntington Bancshares has a consensus analyst price target of $11.88 and it has a 52-week range of $7.83 to $12.60.
Tyson Foods, Inc. (NYSE: TSN) was down 14.5% at $57.60 on almost 10-times normal volume on Monday after earnings and after a CEO change. Now Tyson is being reiterated as Buy at Jefferies with the firm saying that the drop is a huge buying opportunity, even though they are cutting their price target to $75 from $85 in the call. Tyson has a 52-week range of $48.10 to $77.05.
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Other key analyst upgrades and downgrades seen Tuesday were in shares of the following companies:
Acushnet Holdings Corp. (NYSE: GOLF) was started as Buy with a $25 price target (versus $19.02 close) at Jefferies.
Applied Micro Circuits Corp. (NASDAQ: AMCC) was downgraded to Market Perform from Outperform at Raymond James. Applied Micro shares closed up 11.7% at $8.10 on Monday after the acquisition by Macom Tech was announced.
Arista Networks Inc. (NYSE: ANET) was raised to Neutral from Underperform at BofA Merrill Lynch. The import ban from ITC ‘944 case being lifted was the catalyst.
Citizens Financial Group (NYSE: CFG) was started as Neutral with a $28 price target (versus $31.93 close) at Credit Suisse.
Ferrari N.V. (NYSE: RACE) was started with a Buy rating at Berenberg.
Fiat Chrysler Automobiles N.V. (NYSE: FCAU) was started with a Hold rating at Berenberg.
GoDaddy Inc. (NYSE: GDDY) was raised to Buy from Neutral with a $45 price target (versus $35.32 close, after a 2.7% gain) at B. Riley. GoDaddy has a consensus analyst price target of $39.08 and has a 52-week range of $23.88 to $36.96.
Greif Inc. (NYSE: GEF) was downgraded to Neutral from Buy at BofA Merrill Lynch, noting that the valuation’s positive catalysts are now baked in. Greif took two key downgrades on Monday as well.
Northern Trust Corp. (NASDAQ: NTRS) was started with a Neutral rating and was assigned a $71 price target (versus $81.89 close) at Credit Suisse.
Owens-Illinois (NYSE: OI) was downgraded to Hold from Buy with a $20 price target (versus $18.73 close) at Deutsche Bank.
Packaging Corp. of America (NYSE: PKG) was downgraded to Hold from Buy with a $90 price target (versus $86.29 close) at Deutsche Bank.
Potlatch Corp. (NYSE: PCH) was downgraded to Underperform from Neutral at BofA Merrill Lynch, noting a downgrade based upon valuations.
PPL Corp. (NYSE: PPL) was downgraded to Neutral from Buy and the price target was cut to $32 from 440 at BofA Merrill Lynch.
State Street Corp. (NYSE: STT) was started with a Neutral rating and was assigned a $74 price target (versus $78.59 close) at Credit Suisse.
Solar Senior Capital (SUNS) was started with a Perform rating at Oppenheimer.
TherapeuticsMD, Inc. (NYSEMKT: TXMD) was started with an Outperform rating at Oppenheimer. Jefferies started coverage as Buy with a $18 price target.
Jefferies has featured 4 cheap stocks for an expensive stock market.
In the Merrill Lynch downgrades in the utility sector, there were 7 formal downgrades on an explicit out-of-market call on the 10-year Treasury yield rising to 2.65% by the end of 2017. One-third of its ratings are now Underperform, well above the 7% sell side average, but the firm’s price objectives are now -9% lower.
Merrill lynch also made S&P 500 target price changes, removing the discount to its 2016 target that had represented an elevated correction probability. After the election rally, its year-end target shifts to 2100 from 2000 previously — and the 2017 model implies a year-end target of 2300 (up 5% from current levels). The adjusted call is to reflect accelerating growth.
Monday’s top analyst upgrades and downgrades were in shares of Abercrombie & Fitch, KBR, 3M, Netflix, Starbucks, HSBC and over a dozen more companies.