Stocks have now fallen for five straight sessions and were indicated lower on Thursday as well. Despite opening higher ahead of Wednesday’s Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) decision on interest rates, the real issue is that the lowered expectations and the wider scope of Fed worries is leaving the markets with the notion that Fed has its eye on too many things. Then there is the notion that maybe even getting fed funds back up to 3% or so might be pure fiction and hope rather than reality.
24/7 Wall St. reviews dozens of analyst research reports each day of the week. The goal is to find new investing and trading ideas for our readers. Some analyst reports cover stocks to buy, while other reports feature stocks to sell or avoid.
The markets may have been weak of late, but the trend that has remained is that investors have shown that they are more than willing to buy stocks during each and every real stock market correction. Last week the S&P 500 peaked at a valuation of 18 times expected 2016 earnings per share.
These are the top analyst upgrades, downgrades and initiations seen on Thursday morning:
Advanced Micro Devices Inc. (NASDAQ: AMD) was raised to Buy from Hold and was given a $6 price target (versus a $4.42 prior close) at Canaccord Genuity. It has a consensus analyst price target of $3.68 and a 52-week trading range of $1.61 to $4.71.
BP PLC (NYSE: BP) was raised to Buy from Neutral at Citigroup. Shares closed at $31.15 in New York trading on Wednesday, but BP was trading up almost 0.5% on Thursday in London trading. BP’s American depositary shares have a consensus price target of $39.00 and a 52-week range of $30.07 to $41.78.
Cavium Inc. (NASDAQ: CAVM) is buying QLogic for $1.4 billion, versus a pre-news market cap of $2.75 billion. Cavium shares were indicated down 14% at $41.20 on Thursday. Cavium was downgraded to Hold from Buy and the price target was cut to $48 from $61 at Canaccord Genuity. Merrill lynch maintained a Neutral rating, noting that the deal adds defensive accretive earnings while diluting its growth. Pacific Crest cut its rating to Sector Weight, and Oppenheimer lowered its rating to Perform.
Checkpoint Software Technologies Ltd. (NASDAQ: CHKP) was downgraded to Hold from Buy and the price target was cut to $90 from $95 (versus an $84.28 close) at Deutsche Bank. The consensus price target is $86.91, and has the 52-week range is $65.09 to $89.98.
Jabil Circuit Inc. (NYSE: JBL) was last seen down almost 3% at $18.20 after cutting its outlook with earnings due to a weakness in its mobility sales. Needham has a Buy rating and cut its target price to $23 from $25; Goldman Sachs has a Sell rating and cut its target price to $16 from $17; and UBS has a Buy rating and cut its target price to $20 from $22. The consensus price target is $21.60, and the 52-week range is $16.78 to $26.00.
Kansas City Southern (NYSE: KSU) was started with an Outperform rating and assigned a $103 price target (versus an $87.32 close) at Oppenheimer. The stock has a consensus analyst target of $97.76 and a 52-week range of $62.20 to $101.24.
Yahoo! Inc. (NASDAQ: YHOO) was raised to Buy from Neutral at Citigroup. Shares closed at $37.32, and the web property has a consensus price target of $40.79 and a 52-week range of $26.15 to $41.39.
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Other top analyst upgrades and downgrades were seen in the following: