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Top Analyst Upgrades and Downgrades: eBay, GNC, Groupon, Hecla, J.C. Penney, Whole Foods and More

Stocks are trying to recover on Wednesday after pulling back close to 2% from the recent highs. Investors still want bull market upside, but they want to avoid the blowups and want to miss catching the market top. 24/7 Wall St. reviews dozens of analyst research reports each morning for new ideas for its readers. After all, it is called a stock picker’s market after the bull market’s strength has faded. Some of these analyst reports cover stocks to buy, while some are about stocks to sell or to avoid. These are this Wednesday’s top Wall Street analyst upgrades, downgrades and initiations.

Electronic Arts Inc. (NASDAQ: EA) is soaring after beating earnings expectations. The video game maker was upgraded to Outperform from Neutral at R.W. Baird.

Groupon Inc. (NASDAQ: GRPN) fell despite beating earnings, and the firm Northland Securities has downgraded the stock to Market Perform from Outperform, and the target price was slashed to $7 from $12 in the call. Sterne Agee maintained its Buy rating and $12 price target.

J.C. Penney Co. Inc. (NYSE: JCP) was raised to Neutral from Sell and the price target was raised to $9 from $4 at UBS.

Office Depot Inc. (NYSE: ODP) was raised to Outperform from Neutral and the price target was raised to $7 from $6.13 (versus a $4.83 close, after a near 16% gain) by Credit Suisse.

Whole Foods Market Inc. (NASDAQ: WFM) is getting crushed on an earnings miss and lower guidance, bringing multiple downgrades from Wall Street: to Market Perform from Outperform at BMO Capital Markets, to Sell from Hold by Cantor Fitzgerald, to Hold from Buy at Deutsche Bank, to Neutral from Overweight by Piper Jaffray and to Neutral from Buy at Sterne Agee. However, Argus is upgrading the stock to Buy from Hold with a $48 price target because it can finally buy it at the price it wanted to now.

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Other Key Analyst Calls

AbbVie Inc. (NYSE: ABBV) was raised to Overweight From Equal Weight and given a $60 price target by Morgan Stanley.

ARRIS Group Inc. (NASDAQ: ARRS) was raised to Strong Buy from Outperform at Raymond James

Advanced Energy Industries Inc. (NASDAQ: AEIS) was raised to Strong Buy from Outperform at Raymond James

eBay Inc. (NASDAQ: EBAY) was downgraded to Neutral from Buy at SunTrust Robinson Humphrey.

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FirstEnergy Corp. (NYSE: FE) was raised to Buy from Hold at Jefferies

Forest Oil Corp. (NYSE: FST) was raised to Equal Weight from Underweight at Morgan Stanley.

GNC Holdings Inc. (NYSE: GNC) was downgraded to Hold from Buy at Deutsche Bank and to Neutral from Outperform at Wedbush.

Hecla Mining Co. (NYSE: HL) was raised to Buy from Neutral at Roth Capital Markets. Hecla remains as one of our own seven candidates of stocks that could double in 2014.

HollyFrontier Corp. (NYSE: HFC) was raised to Outperform from Neutral and given a $62 price target at Credit Suisse.

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Infosys Ltd. (NASDAQ: INFY) was downgraded to Sell from Neutral at UBS.

Zoetis Inc. (NYSE: ZTS) was downgraded to Underweight from Equal Weight at Morgan Stanley.