Stocks were indicated lower on Monday for a weak start to the final month of 2014. If investors have proven one thing over and over, it is that they will buy value or stocks that are discounted. 24/7 Wall St. reviews dozens of analyst research reports each morning of the week to find new investing and trading ideas for its readers. Some analyst reports are about stocks to buy, and some cover stocks to sell or avoid. These are this Monday’s top analyst upgrades, downgrades and initiations.
Alcoa Inc. (NYSE: AA) was raised to Buy from Neutral at Citigroup.
American Airlines Group Inc. (NASDAQ: AAL) was raised to Buy from Neutral at Bank of America Merrill Lynch.
American Water Works Co. (NYSE: AWK) was downgraded to Neutral from Outperform at Baird.
Bank of Montreal (NYSE: BMO) was downgraded to Neutral from Buy at Citigroup, just a day ahead of its earnings report.
Big Lots Inc. (NYSE: BIG) was downgraded to Neutral from Overweight at J.P. Morgan.
CONSOL Energy Inc. (NYSE: CNX) was downgraded to Neutral from Buy at Citigroup.
Deere & Co. (NYSE: DE) saw two key upgrades: to Market Perform from Underperform, and the valuation range was raised to $83 to $86 from $72 to $75, by Wells Fargo, and to Neutral from Underweight, with the price target raised to $90 from $83, at J.P. Morgan.
DreamWorks Animation SKG Inc. (NASDAQ: DWA) was downgraded to Underperform from Market Perform with a $14 price target at FBR Capital Markets.
Groupon Inc. (NASDAQ: GRPN) was raised to Buy from Neutral and the price target was raised to $9.50 from $8.00 based upon a sum of the parts analysis (versus a $7.53 close) at Merrill Lynch.
Monster Beverage Corp. (NASDAQ: MNST) was downgraded to Outperform, from being one of the firm’s Top Picks, at RBC Capital Markets.
Seadrill Ltd. (NYSE: SDRL) suspended its dividend last week and its stock fell from over $20 to less than $15 on the news. Now it was downgraded to Neutral from Buy at Guggenheim. Wells Fargo raised the rating to Market Perform from Underperform, but lowered its valuation range to $13 to $16 from $20 to $26.
Twenty-First Century Fox Inc. (NASDAQ: FOXA) was started with a Buy rating and a $43 price target (versus a $36.80 close) at Goldman Sachs.
Valeant Pharmaceuticals International Inc. (NYSE: VRX) was started as Buy with a $178 price target (versus a $145.45 close) at Goldman Sachs.
Xcel Energy Inc. (NYSE: XEL) was downgraded to Neutral from Outperform at Baird.
Yahoo! Inc. (NASDAQ: YHOO) was started as Neutral at Credit Suisse.
YuMe Inc. (NYSE: YUME) was started as Equal Weight at Barclays.