Top Analyst Upgrades and Downgrades: American Express, CIT, Discover, FedEx, UnitedHealth and More

July 10, 2014 by Jon C. Ogg

Stocks were getting slapped hard on Thursday morning on weak China trade data and on Portugal banking fears. Still, investors are still looking for upside in stocks while maintaining the bull market bias, even if a correction is needed and overdue. 24/7 Wall St. reviews dozens of analyst research reports each morning of the week to find new ideas for our readers. Some of the analyst reports cover stocks to buy, and some cover stocks to sell or to avoid.

These are this Thursday’s top analyst upgrades, downgrades and initiations from Wall Street firms.

Alcoa Inc. (NYSE: AA) was raised to Overweight from Equal Weight at Morgan Stanley. This is after the aluminum giant beat earnings and was given several new positive calls on Wednesday.

American Express Co. (NYSE: AXP) was started with an Underperform rating and given a $92 price target (versus a $94.74 close) by Macquarie.

Boulder Brands Inc. (NASDAQ: BDBD) was reiterated as Buy with a $17 price target (versus a $13.10 close) at Canaccord Genuity.

Cincinnati Bell Inc. (NYSE: CBB) was downgraded to Underperform from Neutral and given a $3.50 price target (versus a $3.99 close) at Bank of America Merrill Lynch.

CIT Group Inc. (NYSE: CIT) was started as Underperform with a $44 price target (versus a $45.11 close) at Macquarie.

Cepheid (NASDAQ: CPHD) was started as Outperform at Wells Fargo.

Dick’s Sporting Goods Inc. (NYSE: DKS) was maintained as Buy with a $55 price target (versus a $46.46 close) at Argus.

Discover Financial Services (NYSE: DFS) was started as Outperform at Macquarie.

FedEx Corp. (NYSE: FDX) was reiterated as Buy and the price target was raised to $169 from $162 (versus a $151.32 close) at Argus.

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Freeport-McMoRan Copper & Gold Inc. (NYSE: FCX) was started as Overweight by HSBC Securities.

Lumber Liquidators Holdings Inc. (NYSE: LL) saw a 20% stock drop after it lowered its full-year guidance. The stock was downgraded to Hold from Buy at Jefferies and to Neutral from Outperform at Credit Suisse. Canaccord Genuity sliced its price target to $100 from $122.

MB Financial Inc. (NASDAQ: MBFI) was raised to Buy from Neutral at Sterne Agee.

PrivateBancorp Inc. (NASDAQ: PVTB) was started as Buy with a $35 price target (versus a $29.25 close) at Sterne Agee.

TCF Financial Corp. (NYSE: TCB) was raised to Buy from Neutral at Sterne Agee.

Tractor Supply Co. (NASDAQ: TSCO) was raised to Outperform from Neutral at Credit Suisse, despite slightly lower guidance. Shares were indicated down 4% in early trading.

UnitedHealth Group Inc. (NYSE: UNH) was downgraded to Hold from Buy at Jefferies.

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Wednesday’s top analyst upgrades and downgrades included shares of Alcoa, BP, Broadcom, Garmin, Gigamon, KKR, Marvell, KLA-Tencor, Potash, Zillow and many more.