Top Analyst Upgrades and Downgrades: AEP, Bank of America, Citigroup, Equinix, JD.com, Ralph Lauren, Sensata and More

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Stocks have hit all-time highs, but the markets were looking for direction on Wednesday ahead of an almost certain Federal Reserve interest rate hike. The trend that continues to prevail is for investors to buy all the big market sell-offs. That trend has worked for all of 2017 and most of the past five years. Investors also are looking for new investing and trading ideas to generate gains and income ahead.

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 investors and traders alike. Some daily analyst reports and research reports cover stocks to buy. Others cover stocks to sell or to avoid.

Additional color and commentary has been added on most of these daily analyst calls. The consensus analyst price targets mentioned and other valuation metrics are from the Thomson Reuters sell-side research service.

These were the top analyst upgrades, downgrades and other research calls from Wednesday, December 13, 2017.

American Electric Power Co. Inc. (NYSE: AEP) was raised to Overweight from Equal Weight and the price target was raised to $83 from $80 at Morgan Stanley. AEP has a 52-week trading range of $61.03 to $78.07, and it has a consensus analyst target price of $75.27.

Bank of America Corp. (NYSE: BAC) was reiterated as Outperform and the price target was raised to $34 from $29 at Keefe Bruyette & Woods. This is just a day after UBS raised its target price to $31 from $27. The stock has a 52-week range of $21.77 to $29.50.

Citigroup Inc. (NYSE: C) was reiterated as Outperform and the price target was raised to $87 from $80 (versus a $76.15 prior close) at Keefe Bruyette & Woods. The shares have a 52-week range of $55.23 to $77.92 and a consensus target price of $77.29.

Equinix Inc. (NASDAQ: EQIX) was maintained as Buy with a $520 price objective (versus a $450.21 close) but was added to the prized US 1 list at Merrill Lynch. Lam Research was removed from the list. Equinix has a 52-week range of $347.99 to $495.35 and a consensus target price of $523.00.

JD.com Inc. (NASDAQ: JD) was resumed with a Buy rating and assigned a $48 price target (versus a $38.56 close) at Stifel. Shares of JD.com were indicated up 1% at $38.97 on Wednesday, in a 52-week range of $25.25 to $48.99. The consensus analyst target is $50.46.

Ralph Lauren Corp. (NYSE: RL) was downgraded to Underperform from Neutral with a new price objective of $80 at Merrill Lynch. Shares were down 1% at $100.14 on Tuesday, and the stock was indicated down 2.3% more at $97.80 on Wednesday morning. Its 52-week range is $66.06 to $103.86.

Sensata Technologies Holding N.V. (NYSE: ST) was reiterated as Buy and the price objective was raised to $60 from $55 at Merrill Lynch. BMO Capital markets raised its target to $47 from $45. Shares were up 7.9% at $51.66 on Tuesday, in a 52-week range of $38.71 to $51.87.

24/7 Wall St. has selected 10 large cap technology stocks that should outperform Apple and Amazon in 2018.

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Other key analyst calls were seen as follows: