Top Analyst Upgrades and Downgrades: Apple, BP, SunPower, Twitter, United Tech, Linear Tech, Analog Devices and More

The Dow and S&P 500 recently hit new highs, and investors keep shrugging off every bit of bad news and uncertainty. Even the high valuations are not keeping investors from buying every pullback. The question now is how investors will make money in the months ahead.

24/7 Wall St. reviews dozens of analyst research reports each morning of the week. The goal is to find new investing and trading ideas for its readers. Some of these analyst reports cover stocks to buy, while others feature stocks to sell or avoid.

These are the top analyst upgrades, downgrades and initiations seen on Wednesday morning:

Apple Inc. (NASDAQ: AAPL) was last seen trading up 7% at $103.60 after earnings showed more iPhone sales than expected, and Apple has a 52-week trading range of $89.47 to $123.82. The stock was reiterated as Outperform at Credit Suisse with a $150 price target. At Merrill Lynch it was reiterated as Buy with a $120 price objective. Raymond James raised its rating to Outperform from Market Perform with a $129 price target.

BP PLC (NYSE: BP) was reiterated as Underperform at Merrill Lynch. The firm said that BP’s exit from its path of pain is not yet in sight, and the firm has sub-consensus estimates and signaled that the valuation really needs $60 oil. The stock closed at $34.59 in New York, in a 52-week range of $27.01 to $38.06.

SunPower Corp. (NASDAQ: SPWR) was raised to Buy from Neutral with a $20 price target (versus a $15.64 prior close) at Guggenheim. This call is almost the opposite from an Oppenheimer downgrade, although the price target from Oppenheimer remains significantly higher.

Twitter Inc. (NYSE: TWTR) was last seen trading down 11% at $16.40 (after an $18.45 close) after earnings showed its slowest post-IPO growth. It was downgraded to Hold from Buy with a $16 target at Canaccord Genuity. Axiom Capital downgraded Twitter to Hold from Buy with a $16 target. Merrill Lynch reiterated its Underperform rating but cut its price objective to $14 from $15 as it is a work in progress. Twitter’s 52-week range is $13.73 to $33.24.

United Technologies Corp. (NYSE: UTX) was reiterated as Buy and the price objective was raised to $130 from $115 (after rising 3.1% to $107.89) at Merrill Lynch. The 52-week range is $83.39 to $107.96, and the consensus price target is $111.19.

Linear Technology Corp. (NASDAQ: LLTC) is being acquired by Analog Devices Inc. (NASDAQ: ADI) and its shares rose 29% to $62.53, while shares of Analog Devices rose almost 4% to $62.87. Linear Tech was downgraded to Equal Weight from Overweight with a $64 price target at Morgan Stanley. Raymond James raised it to Market Perform from Underperform. Analog Devices had several calls as well: downgraded to Neutral from Buy at Citigroup, raised to Buy from Hold at Evercore ISI and raised to Outperform from Perform at Oppenheimer.

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Other top analyst upgrades and downgrades were seen as follows:

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