Stocks were down slightly on Wednesday, after two days of being indicated higher. The trend that has remained in place for almost four years now is that investors keep buying stocks on weakness. 24/7 Wall St. reviews dozens of research reports from analysts each day in order to get new trading and investment ideas for its readers. Some analyst reports cover stocks to buy, while others cover stocks to sell or avoid.
These are this Wednesday’s top analyst upgrades, downgrades and initiations.
Agrium Inc. (NYSE: AGU) was downgraded to Sell from Neutral with a $95 price target (versus a $105.14 close) at Citigroup.
Altera Corp. (NASDAQ: ALTR) was downgraded to Neutral from Overweight with a $42 price target (versus a $43.24 close) at Piper Jaffray.
Anadarko Petroleum Corp. (NYSE: APC) was started as Buy with a $104 price target (versus a $92.56 close) at Nomura.
Amazon.com Inc. (NASDAQ: AMZN) was raised to Buy from Neutral at a firm called Monness Crespi Hardt.
Apache Corp. (NYSE: APA) was started as Reduce with a price target of $63 (versus a $68.37 close) at Nomura.
Chipotle Mexican Grill Inc. (NYSE: CMG) was downgraded to Market Perform from Outperform at Raymond James. Sterne Agee reiterated its Buy rating and $766 price target. Credit Suisse maintained its Outperform rating but lowered its target price to $770 from $785.
Grupo Aval Acciones Y Valores S.A. (NYSE: AVAL) was raised to Buy from Neutral at Goldman Sachs.
Halliburton Co. (NYSE: HAL) was reiterated as Outperform and the price target was raised to $56 from $48 (versus a $47.05 close) at RBC Capital Markets.
Lam Research Corp. (NASDAQ: LRCX) was maintained as Sector Perform and the price target was lowered to $76 from $82 (versus a $77.84 close) at RBC Capital Markets.
Marathon Oil Corp. (NYSE: MRO) was started as Buy with a $36 price target at Nomura.
Masco Corp. (NYSE: MAS) was raised to Outperform from Market Perform and the price target was raised to $35 from $28 (versus a $26.35 close) at FBR Capital Markets.
MGIC Investment Corp. (NYSE: MTG) was reiterated as Market Perform but the price target was raised to $11 from $9 (versus a $10.47 close) at FBR Capital Markets.
Nokia Corp. (NYSE: NOK) was raised to Overweight from Equal Weight at Barclays. Just this week we noted how reception to the Alcatel-Lucent buyout is starting to dry up.
Packaging Corp. of America (NYSE: PKG) was raised to Buy from Hold but the price target was cut to $80 from $86 (versus a $69.02 close) at Deutsche Bank.
Regions Financial Corp. (NYSE: RF) was downgraded to Sector Perform from Outperform with a $11 price target (versus a $9.58 close) at RBC Capital Markets.
RSP Permian Inc. (NYSE: RSPP) was started as Buy with a $34 price target (versus a $28.24 close) at Wunderlich.
SAP A.G. (NYSE: SAP) was raised to Buy from Neutral at Bank of America Merrill Lynch.
Tempur Sealy International Inc. (NYSE: TPX) was started as Outperform with a price target of $70 (versus a $57.88 close) at Wedbush.
Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd. (NYSE: TEVA) was reiterated as Buy at Argus, but the price target was raised to $75 from $64 (versus a $64.16 close) based on better returns down the road from M&A activity.
Yum! Brands Inc. (NYSE: YUM) was reiterated Buy and with a $95 target at Janney Capital Markets.
In case you missed out on Tuesday’s top analyst upgrades and downgrades, they were in shares of GE, IBM, Bristol-Myers Squibb, Encana, Halliburton, Rio Tinto, WhiteWave Foods and a dozen more companies.
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