Stocks were looking for direction on an unemployment Friday before and even after a strong payrolls number. The major rally seen this week, on the heels of a bad January, only proves one point yet again: Investors will buy solid value and overlooked stocks on every pullback. That has been the case for over two years now. 24/7 Wall St. reviews dozens of analyst research reports each morning of the week to find new investment and trading ideas for our readers. Some of these analyst reports cover stocks to buy, but others cover stocks to sell or avoid.
These are this Friday’s top analyst upgrades, downgrades and initiations.
Apollo Global Management LLC (NYSE: APO) was downgraded to Market Perform from Outperform at Keefe Bruyette & Woods.
BB&T Corp. (NYSE: BBT) was started as Outperform with a $44 price target (versus a $37.09 close) at Credit Suisse.
Best Buy Co. Inc. (NYSE: BBY) was raised to Outperform from Perform with a $43 price target at Oppenheimer.
Digital Realty Trust Inc. (NYSE: DLR) was downgraded to Sell from Neutral at UBS.
Expedia Inc. (NASDAQ: EXPE) was downgraded to Perform from Outperform at Oppenheimer.
Fifth Third Bancorp (NASDAQ: FITB) was started as Underperform with a $20 price target (versus a $18.63 close) at Credit Suisse.
Gilead Sciences Inc. (NASDAQ: GILD) was downgraded to Neutral from Outperform at Credit Suisse.
Huntington Bancshares Inc. (NASDAQ: HBAN) was started as Neutral with an $11.50 price target (versus $10.31 close) at Credit Suisse.
KeyCorp (NYSE: KEY) was started as Outperform with a $16 price target (versus a $13.80 close) at Credit Suisse.
LinkedIn Corp. (NYSE: LNKD) was reiterated as Outperform and the price target was raised to $331 from $285 at Credit Suisse. Canaccord Genuity raised its price target to $285 from $240.
MEDNAX Inc. (NYSE: MD) was raised to Buy from Hold at Stifel.
National Bank of Greece S.A. (NYSE: NBG) was downgraded to Neutral from Buy at Goldman Sachs. Shares were indicated 7% lower at $1.30 in early New York trading indications on Friday.
Nationstar Mortgage Holdings Inc. (NYSE: NSM) was raised to Outperform from Market Perform and the valuation range was raised to $32 to $34 from $28 to $30 (versus a $26.80 close) at Wells Fargo.
Pandora Media Inc. (NYSE: P) tanked after a poor earnings report, with shares down 19% around $14.85 or so. The online radio services has seen multiple downgrades: to Market Perform from Outperform at Raymond James and to Market Perform from Outperform at Wells Fargo, and Canaccord Genuity cut its target to $28 from $36.
Regions Financial Corp. (NYSE: RF) was started as Neutral with a $10 price target (with a $9.20 close) at Credit Suisse.
Sprint Corp. (NYSE: S) will get to double its footprint with a deal in the RadioShack bankruptcy. The stock was indicated up 1.5% at $4.89 on the news. We have seen conflicting reports about whether it was downgraded or upgraded, but it appears to have been raised to Hold from Sell at Evercore. Evercore has yet to confirm per our inquiry with the company.
Staples Inc. (NASDAQ: SPLS) was raised to Neutral from Sell and the price target was raised to $16 from $14 (versus a $16.97 close) at Goldman Sachs.
Synchronoss Technologies Inc. (NASDAQ: SNCR) was raised to Neutral from Underperform at Baird.
Teradata Corp. (NYSE: TDC) was downgraded to Underperform from Neutral and the price target was cut to $35 from $42.50 (versus a $42.19 close) at Credit Suisse.
Yelp Inc. (NYSE: YELP) was last seen down 13% at just under $50.00 after its earnings report. Yelp was downgraded to Sector Perform from Outperform at Pacific Crest, and it was downgraded to Sell from Neutral at B. Riley.
In case you missed Thursday’s top analyst upgrades and downgrades, they included Ally Financial, Apple, ADP, Brocade Communications, Level 3Communications, Tyco International and a dozen more.