Stocks were indicated higher on Friday morning, and now the S&P 500 and DJIA are both positive for the year. After four weeks of gains, on the heels of six straight weeks of selling, investors have to feel confused and perhaps even duped. Selling all rallies may have worked for the start of 2016, but investors are now back to buying the dips.
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 of these analyst reports cover stocks to buy, and other calls cover stocks to sell or avoid.
One word of caution, even with oil back above $40 per barrel, is that the S&P 500 is now valued back above 17.5 times forward 12 month EPS expectations.
These are the top analyst upgrades, downgrades and initiations seen from Friday, March 18, 2016.
Adobe Systems Inc. (NASDAQ: ADBE) was maintained as Neutral at Credit Suisse, but the firm raised its target price to $85 from $70. RBC, Goldman Sachs and other firms also chimed in with reiterated ratings. Adobe closed up 2% at $89.96 ahead of earnings and shares were indicated up 7% at $96.30 on Friday morning. Its consensus analyst price target was last seen at $102.70, and it has a 52-week trading range of $71.27 to $96.42.
Boeing Co. (NYSE: BA) was reiterated as Buy with a $160 price target (versus a $130.70 prior close) at Jefferies. The firm raised 2017 and 2018 earnings estimates, and it believes Boeing can boost profits by reaching development milestones and completing existing projects. The consensus analyst price target is $137.95, and the 52-week range is $102.10 to $155.50.
BP PLC (NYSE: BP) was started as Neutral at Nomura. Shares closed at $31.54, and the consensus price target is $34.05. The 52-week range is $27.01 to $43.85.
Chevron Corp. (NYSE: CVX) was started as Neutral at Nomura, with an $85 price target. Goldman Sachs maintained its Neutral rating. The stock closed at $96.89, has a consensus price target of $96.50 and has a 52-week range of $69.58 to $112.20.
Exxon Mobil Corp. (NYSE: XOM) was started as Reduce with a $70 price target at Nomura. Goldman Sachs kept it on the Conviction Buy list. The stock closed at $84.10, and it has a consensus analyst target of about $81 and a 52-week range of $66.55 to $90.09.
Micron Technology Inc. (NASDAQ: MU) was downgraded to Neutral from Positive at Susquehanna, and the price target was cut to $10 from $15 in the call. Shares closed at $10.87. The consensus price target is about $15.80, and the 52-week range is $9.31 to $29.78.
Noble Energy Inc. (NYSE: NBL) was reinstated as Outperform at RBC Capital Markets, with a $44 price target. Shares closed at $34.06, within a 52-week range of $23.77 to $53.68. The consensus analyst target is $38.52.
PayPal Holdings Inc. (NASDAQ: PYPL) was downgraded to Hold from Buy at Stifel. The stock closed at$39.93, has a consensus price target of $41.06 and has a 52-week range of $30.00 to $42.55.
Staples Inc. (NASDAQ: SPLS) was maintained as Buy with a $17 price target (versus a $9.69 close) at Jefferies. The firm said there is a compelling case here against a preliminary FTC injunction in its merger and that there is a credible threat from Amazon Business. Staples has a consensus target price of $12.65 and a 52-week range of $8.04 to $17.04.
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Other key analyst upgrades, downgrades and initiations were seen in the following on Friday: