Top Analyst Upgrades and Downgrades: Applied Materials, Pollo Loco, Dollar General, SolarCity, Urban Outfitters and More

Stocks were firm Tuesday morning after a recovery rally on Monday. It may be the dog days of summer, but investors have used the recent market volatility to accumulate some stocks when they have pulled back. 24/7 Wall St. reviews dozens of analyst research reports each morning of the week, looking for new trading and investment ideas for our readers. Some of these research reports from analysts cover stocks to buy, while others may cover stocks to sell or even stocks to avoid. These are this Tuesday’s top analyst upgrades and downgrades from 24/7 Wall St.

Almost Family Inc. (NASDAQ: AFAM) was raised to Buy from Hold and the price target was raised to $33 from $23 (versus a $26.97 close) at Jefferies.

Applied Materials Inc. (NASDAQ: AMAT) was reiterated as Buy with a $25 price target (versus a $22.10 close) at Argus ahead of the Tokyo Electron merger.

Brinker International Inc. (NYSE: EAT) was raised to Buy from Hold with a $55 price target (versus a $47.53 close) at Wunderlich.

CNOOC Ltd. (NYSE: CEO) saw an analyst duel, only to get to virtually the same verdict: Credit Suisse raised it to Neutral from Outperform, while Jefferies downgraded it to Hold from Buy.

Dollar General Corp. (NYSE: DG) was raised to Outperform with a $74 price target (versus a $64.14 close) at Credit Suisse, on the heels of the merger news.

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El Pollo Loco Holdings Inc. (NASDAQ: LOCO) saw its quiet period end, and it has ended with a whimper of a whisper, considering how hot it was. The grilled chicken stock was started as Neutral at Baird, as Hold at Jefferies and as Underweight at Morgan Stanley.

Family Dollar Stores Inc. (NYSE: FDO) was raised to Equal Weight from Underweight at Barclays.

Jazz Pharmaceuticals Inc. (NASDAQ: JAZZ) was started as Overweight with a $190 price target at J.P. Morgan.

Markit Ltd. (NASDAQ: MRKT) was started with an Outperform rating and $30 price target (versus a $25.43 close) at Credit Suisse.

Monster Beverage Corp. (NASDAQ: MNST) was downgraded to Neutral from Buy at SunTrust Robinson Humphrey.

Performance Sports Group Ltd. (NYSE: PSG) was started as Overweight with a $21 price target (versus a $17.02 close) at Morgan Stanley.

SolarCity Corp. (NASDAQ: SCTY) was downgraded to Neutral from Outperform with an $83 price target (versus a $72.05 close) at Baird.

Sprint Corp. (NYSE: S) was maintained as Underperform with a $6 price target at Credit Suisse, saying that the benefits of the new pricing plan may already be mitigated.

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Urban Outfitters Inc. (NASDAQ: URBN) was raised to Outperform from Neutral at Baird. Credit Suisse maintained its Outperform rating, it was maintained as Buy at Bank of America Merrill Lynch and Piper Jaffray maintained its Overweight rating. Stern Agee maintained its Neutral rating.

In case you missed Monday’s top analyst upgrades and downgrades, they included shares of Achillion, GE, Monster Beverage, Newmont Mining, SeaWorld and many more.

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