Stocks are still within striking distance of new highs, yet the Dow is barely changed for the year. Earnings season is underway, and investors are careful in their attempts to make money not to catch the top or pick the wrong group of stocks. 24/7 Wall St. reviews dozens of analyst research reports each morning for new ideas. Some of these analyst reports cover stocks to buy, while some reports are about stocks to sell or to avoid. These are this Monday’s top analyst upgrades, downgrades and initiations.
Ariad Pharmaceuticals Inc. (NASDAQ: ARIA) was raised to Buy from Hold at Jefferies
Apollo Investment Corp. (NASDAQ: AINV) was raised to Overweight from Equal Weight at Barclays.
BB&T Corp. (NYSE: BBT) was raised to Outperform from Neutral at Credit Suisse.
Chipotle Mexican Grill Inc. (NYSE: CMG) was raised to Outperform from Market Perform at Raymond James, a nice gesture for Cinco de Mayo!
FireEye Inc. (NASDAQ: FEYE) was started as Hold with a $45 price target by Deutsche Bank.
Harsco Corp. (NYSE: HSC) is overlooked and underappreciated and could rise 20%, according to Barron’s over the weekend.
Informatica Inc. (NASDAQ: INFA) was raised to Neutral from Underperform at Bank of America Merrill Lynch.
L-3 Communications Holdings Inc. (NYSE: LLL) was raised to Overweight from Neutral at J.P. Morgan.
PerkinElmer Inc. (NYSE: PKI) was raised to Buy from Neutral with a $50 price target at Janney Capital Markets.
Salesforce.com Inc. (NYSE: CRM) was raised to Buy from Hold at Deutsche Bank.
Santander Consumer USA Holdings Inc. (NYSE: SC) was raised to Buy from Neutral at Merrill Lynch.
SINA Corp. (NASDAQ: SINA) was downgraded to Perform from Outperform at Oppenheimer.
Virtus Investment Partners Inc. (NASDAQ: VRTS) was raised to Outperform with a $220 price target at Raymond James.
Watts Water Technologies Inc. (NYSE: WTS) was raised to Buy from Neutral with a price target of $68 at Sterne Agee.
Redwood Trust Inc. (NYSE: RWT) downgraded to Market Perform from Outperform at JMP Securities
Southern Company (NYSE: SO) was downgraded to Sell from Neutral by UBS.
Swift Energy Co. (NYSE: SFY) was downgraded to Hold from Buy with a $12.50 price target at Canaccord Genuity.
Walt Disney Co. (NYSE: DIS) was raised to Buy and the price target was raised to $91 from $78 at Topeka Capital Markets.