Stocks were looking for direction on Thursday ahead of economic data. Investors remain eager to find value and overlooked stories that bring opportunity as stocks still act as though they want to rise ahead. 24/7 Wall St. reviews dozens of analyst reports each morning on the hunt for new investment and trading ideas for its readers. Some analyst reports cover stocks to buy, and others cover stocks to sell or to avoid. These are this Thursday’s top analyst upgrades, downgrades and initiations covered by 24/7 Wall St.
Alcoa Inc. (NYSE: AA) was maintained as Buy but the price target was raised to $20 from $17 (versus a $15.90 close) at Stifel.
AutoZone Inc. (NYSE: AZO) was downgraded to Hold from Buy at Argus after the company posted weaker-than-expected sales trends.
Barrick Gold Corp. (NYSE: ABX) was raised to Overweight from Neutral at HSBC.
BHP Billiton Ltd. (NYSE: BHP) was raised to Buy from Neutral at Citigroup.
Comerica Inc. (NYSE: CMA) was raised to Buy from Hold and the price target was raised to $65 from $55 (versus a $50.44 close) at Wunderlich.
Freeport-McMoRan Inc. (NYSE: FCX) was started as Neutral at Credit Suisse, but the price target was up at $37 from its $33.25 closing price.
58.com Inc. (NYSE: WUBA) was started with a Neutral rating at Goldman Sachs.
KB Home (NYSE: KBH) was downgraded to Sector Perform from Outperform at RBC Capital Markets. Credit Suisse lowered its price target to $20 from $22.
ManpowerGroup Inc. (NYSE: MAN) was started with an Overweight rating and $90 price target (versus a $73.54 close) at Piper Jaffray.
Medtronic Inc. (NYSE: MDT) was reinstated with a Buy rating and a $75 price target at Bank of America Merrill Lynch.
Northrop Grumman Corp. (NYSE: NOC) was raised to Buy from Hold with a $145 price target (versus a $129.99 close) at Argus.
On Assignment Inc. (NYSE: ASGN) was started with an Overweight rating and $35 price target (versus a $26.77 close) at Piper Jaffray.
Towers Watson & Co. (NYSE: TW) was started with an Overweight rating and $134 price target (versus a $100.29 close) at Piper Jaffray.
Yahoo! Inc. (NASDAQ: YHOO) was downgraded to Sector Perform from Outperform with a $44 price target at RBC Capital Markets.
In case you missed Wednesday’s top analyst upgrades and downgrades, they were in shares of Auxilium, Ericsson, GoldCorp, McDonald’s, Micron Technologies, Sarepta Therapeutics and a dozen or so more.