Stocks have posted six consecutive quarterly gains now that the first quarter came to an end. Markets were looking for direction on Monday, April 3, 2017, but here is how the indexes performed in the first quarter: Dow up 5.0%, S&P 500 up 5.9% and Nasdaq 100 up almost 12%.
Even if the bull market is more than eight years old, investors have proven time after time that they want to buy market pullbacks. Those same investors are also still looking for new trading and investing ideas.
24/7 Wall St. reviews dozens of analyst research reports each day of the week in an effort to find new ideas for our readers. Some analyst reports cover stocks to buy, and some reports cover stocks to sell or to avoid.
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 Monday, April 3, 2017:
Accenture PLC (NYSE: ACN) was downgraded to Sell from Neutral with a $110 price target (versus a $119.88 prior close) at Goldman Sachs. Accenture has a 52-week trading range of $108.66 to $126.53 and a consensus analyst price target of $131.28.
Ecolab Inc. (NYSE: ECL) was raised to Neutral from Sell and the price target was raised to $118 from $99 at Instinet. Ecolab has a 52-week range of $110.45 to $126.17 and a consensus target price of $128.35.
Huntington Bancshares Inc. (NASDAQ: HBAN) was raised to Buy from Hold and the price target was raised to $16 from $14 at Jefferies. Huntington Bancshares has a 52-week range of $8.05 to $14.74, and the consensus price target is $15.01.
Huntsman Corp. (NYSE: HUN) was raised to Buy from Hold with a $28 price target (versus a $24.54 close) at Citigroup. The 52-week range is $14.16 to $25.22 and the consensus analyst target is $24.60.
Oasis Petroleum Inc. (NYSE: OAS) was raised to Outperform from Market Perform with an $18 price target (versus a $14.26 close) at BMO Capital Markets. It has a consensus target price of $18.09 and a 52-week range of $6.56 to $17.08.
Snap Inc. (NYSE: SNAP) was started with a Hold rating at Argus, with the firm citing strong growth that is fully reflected in the price of the stock. Snap’s post-IPO range is $18.90 to $29.44, and it closed at $22.53 on Friday.
Under Armour Inc. (NYSE: UAA) was indicated marginally higher after Barron’s reported this past weekend that its shares are ready to recover. Unfortunately, Under Armour was downgraded to Underperform from Market Perform and the price target was cut to $14 from $20 at FBR Capital Markets. Under Armour has a 52-week range of $17.05 to $46.53, and its consensus target price is $23.00.
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Other key analyst calls were seen in the following: