Top Analyst Upgrades and Downgrades: Alcoa, Extreme Networks, Gilead, MGIC, Micron, Noble Energy, Twitter, US Steel, Wendy’s and More

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Stocks keep hitting all-time highs, with over 70 trading days of new market highs so far this year alone. Despite a small “sell the news” sell-off on Tuesday, the Senate’s passage of tax reform had stocks indicated up yet again on Wednesday. The bull market is now nearing nine years old and investors have been rewarded for buying every market sell-off. 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 20, 2017.

Acer Therapeutics Inc. (NASDAQ: ACER) was started with a Buy rating and assigned a $50 price target (versus a $12.00 prior close) at H.C. Wainwright. Acer Therapeutics has a 52-week trading range of $5.73 to $22.62, and its market cap is quite small at roughly $88 million.

Alcoa Corp. (NYSE: AA) was raised to Outperform from Neutral and the price target was raised to $61 from a prior price target of $42 (versus a $46.52 close) at Credit Suisse.

AK Steel Holding Corp. (NYSE: AKS) was raised to Buy from Neutral with a $7 price target (versus a $5.53 close) at Longbow Research.

Aramark (NYSE: ARMK) was started as Buy and assigned a $50 price target (versus a $42.90 close) at Stifel.

Biogen Inc. (NASDAQ: BIIB) was raised to Outperform from Neutral and the price target was raised to $385 from $321 at Credit Suisse.

Century Aluminum Co. (NASDAQ: CENX) was downgraded to Hold from Buy with a $14 price target (versus a $16.93 close) at Deutsche Bank.

Extreme Networks Inc. (NASDAQ: EXTR) was started with an Outperform rating and assigned a $16 price target (versus a $12.45 close) at Cowen.

Gilead Sciences Inc. (NASDAQ: GILD) was downgraded to Neutral from Outperform with an $80 price target (versus a $74.35 close) at Credit Suisse.

Hartford Financial Services (NYSE: HIG) was started as Neutral with a $59 price target (versus a $56.73 close) at Citigroup.

IBERIABANK Corp. (NASDAQ: IBKC) was downgraded to Outperform from Strong Buy at Raymond James.

Intercontinental Exchange Inc. (NYSE: ICE) was reiterated as Buy and the price target was raised to $80 from $72 (versus a $71.07 close) at Argus. The call is based on expectations for continued margin improvement.

Jack in the Box Inc. (NASDAQ: JACK) was maintained as Hold but the price target was cut to $100 from $120 (versus a $103.45 close) at Jefferies.

Lamar Advertising Co. (NASDAQ: LAMR) was downgraded to Sell from Neutral at Citigroup.