Stocks were indicated lower on Thursday ahead of Friday’s key payrolls and unemployment report. The European Central Bank maintained rates at 0.00%. Now that the bull market is officially eight years old, the trend that remains is that investors have an appetite for stocks and will buy any serious pullback. Those same investors are looking for new ideas and overlooked opportunities.
24/7 Wall St. reviews dozens of analyst research reports each day of the week. Our goal is to find new investing and trading ideas for our readers. Some of these analyst reports cover stocks to buy, while other reports cover stocks to sell or to avoid.
Some color has been added on many of the following calls, and the consensus analyst price targets referenced are from Thomson Reuters. These are the top analyst upgrades, downgrades and initiations seen on Thursday, March 9, 2017:
American Express Co. (NYSE: AXP) was maintained as Underperform at Credit Suisse after its investors day. Merrill Lynch maintained its Buy rating and $94 price objective. Jefferies maintained its Hold rating with a $75 price target. Shares closed down 0.7% at $79.04 the prior day, and they have a 52-week trading range of $57.15 to $82.00. The consensus analyst price target is $81.00.
Amgen Inc. (NASDAQ: AMGN) was started as Neutral with a $185 price target (versus a $177.78 prior close) at UBS. It has a 52-week range of $133.64 to $180.53 and consensus analyst target of $186.13.
Encana Corp. (NYSE: ECA) was started with a Buy rating and assigned a $14 price target (versus a $10.52 close) at Canaccord Genuity. The 52-week range is $5.17 to $13.85, and the consensus price target is $14.95.
Gilead Sciences Inc. (NASDAQ: GILD) was started as Neutral and assigned a $72 price target (versus a $69.70 close) at UBS. Gilead has a 52-week range of $65.38 to $103.10 and a consensus price target of $81.10.
Tesla Inc. (NASDAQ: TSLA) was started with a Market Perform rating and assigned a $250 price target (versus a $248.59 close) at Bernstein. It has a 52-week range of $178.19 to $287.39 and a consensus price target of $244.38.
Jefferies has identified the top Dividend Aristocrats growing revenues 10% per year.
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Other key analyst calls were seen in the following: