Investing

Top Analyst Upgrades and Downgrades: AEP, BP, Halliburton, Cypress Semi, J.C. Penney, Schlumberger, SanDisk and More

Stocks were looking for direction Wednesday morning. Investors keep proving that they will buy value stocks or stocks that are discounted when they can. 24/7 Wall St. looks over dozens of analyst research reports each morning to find new trading and investing ideas for its readers. Some of these analyst reports cover stocks to buy, and others cover stocks to sell or avoid.

It turns out that many analysts are still making key changes in their oil and gas picks. We have also recently given a prediction of five big Dow stocks we believe will have dividend hikes before 2014 ends.

These are this Wednesday’s top analyst upgrades, downgrades and initiations.

American Electric Power Co. Inc. (NYSE: AEP) was reiterated as Buy and the price target was raised to $66 from a prior target of $59 (versus a $58.36 close) at Argus.

BP PLC (NYSE: BP) was raised to Overweight from Equal Weight at Barclays, but the price target was lowered to indicate roughly 30% upside in London pricing.

Cypress Semiconductor Corp. (NASDAQ: CY) rose on its acquisition of Spansion, and another upgrade has been seen: to Buy from Hold and with a $16 price target from Needham.

Halliburton Co. (NYSE: HAL) was started as Outperform at Oppenheimer.

J.C. Penney Co. Inc. (NYSE: JCP) was downgraded to Sell from an already cautious Neutral rating at Goldman Sachs. The firm also gave a $5.50 price target, versus a $7.39 closing price.

SanDisk Corp. (NASDAQ: SNDK) was started as Buy at Citigroup.

Schlumberger Ltd. (NYSE: SLB) was started as Outperform at Oppenheimer. Credit Suisse maintained its Outperform rating, but lowered estimates and slashed the price target all the way down to $100 from $141 in the call.

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