Stocks are challenging new highs and we are knee-deep in earnings season. Investors want the upside of stocks, but they want to avoid the next sell-off and bad earnings story. 24/7 Wall St. reviews dozens of analyst research reports each morning for new ideas. Some reports cover stocks to buy and some are about stocks to sell or to avoid. These are this Thursday’s top analyst upgrades, downgrades and initiations.
Abercrombie & Fitch Co. (NYSE: ANF) was raised to Buy from Hold at Jefferies.
Barclays PLC (NYSE: BCS) was raised to Buy from Neutral at UBS.
Clean Harbors Inc. (NYSE: CLH) was downgraded to Neutral from Buy at Baird.
Emulex Corp. (NYSE: ELX) was downgraded to Underperform at Bank of America Merrill Lynch and to Neutral from Overweight at Piper Jaffray.
Energizer Holdings Inc. (NYSE: ENR) was raised to Neutral from Sell at UBS based upon its efforts to split the company into two.
Facebook Inc. (NASDAQ: FB) was added to the prized U.S. Focus List by Credit Suisse, and the firm removed Energy Transfer Equity L.P. (NYSE: ETE) from the list to make room for it.
GFI Group Inc. (NASDAQ: GFIG) was downgraded to Market Perform from Outperform at Keefe Bruyette & Woods.
JDS Uniphase Corp. (NASDAQ: JDSU) hit a new 52-week low after bad earnings and lower guidance. Negative comments and lower earnings estimates and lower price targets have been seen by UBS, Piper Jaffray and others.
JetBlue Airways Corp. (NASDAQ: JBLU) was raised to Overweight from Neutral by J.P. Morgan.
Navient Corp. (NASDAQ: NAVIV) was started as Outperform with an $19 price target at Credit Suisse.
Pepco Holdings Inc. (NYSE: POM) was downgraded to Market Perform from Outperform at Wells Fargo.
SLM Corp. (NYSE: SLM) was started as Outperform with an $11 price target at Credit Suisse.
Yelp Inc. (NYSE: YELP) was reiterated as Outperform and the price target was raised to $90 from $87 at Credit Suisse. RBC raised its rating to Outperform and gave a $88 price target. Oppenheimer reiterated its Outperform rating and raised its target to $80 from $78. The stock closed at $58.32, and after earnings the stock is up above $63 in early trading.