Stocks are very close to all-time highs, but the markets were looking for direction after the ADP payrolls report did not create any massive buzz one way or another ahead of Friday’s unemployment and payrolls report. Investors have proven over and over that they want to buy their favorite stocks after every market sell-off. Those same investors are also looking for new ideas to generate income or gains 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. Some of these analyst reports cover stocks to buy. Other reports feature stocks to sell or to avoid.
These are the top analyst upgrades, downgrades and initiations seen on Wednesday morning:
Abercrombie & Fitch Co. (NYSE: ANF) was downgraded to Hold from Buy at Stifel. Shares closed down 20.3% at $18.29 on Tuesday and were indicated down another 1.3% at $18.05 on Wednesday. The stock has a consensus analyst price target of $22.57 and a 52-week trading range of $16.49 to $32.83.
Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. (NYSE: BABA) was started as Overweight at JPMorgan. It has a 52-week range of $57.20 to $98.86 and a consensus analyst price target of $108.64.
Baidu Inc. (NASDAQ: BIDU) was started as Underweight at JPMorgan. It closed up 1% at $175.45 on Tuesday and was indicated down 0.5% at $174.65 on Wednesday, with a consensus price target of $181.12 and a 52-week range of $130.77 to $217.97.
First Data Corp. (NYSE: FDC) was started as Buy with a $16.50 price target (versus a $13.45 prior close) at Jefferies. The firm sees this industry giant reawakening. First Data just secured an even larger Buy rating one day earlier with a $20 price target, and it has a consensus price target of $16.23.
First Solar Inc. (NASDAQ: FSLR) was downgraded to Hold from Buy at Argus. The stock closed at $38.25, and it has a 52-week range of $36.75 to $74.29 and consensus price target of $56.16.
Marvell Technology Group Ltd. (NASDAQ: MRVL) was started as Overweight with a $17 price target (versus a $12.30 close) at Stephens. The 52-week range is $7.40 to $12.60, and the consensus price target is $13.00.
Under Armour Inc. (NYSE: UA) was downgraded to Hold from Buy at Argus. It closed at $41.56 and has a 52-week range of $31.61 to $52.94. The consensus price target is $53.62.
Other key analyst upgrades and downgrades were seen as follows:
CME Group Inc. (NASDAQ: CME) was reiterated as Buy at Jefferies and the price target was raised to $118 from $112 (versus a $107.84 close). The firm cites its diversity of growth continuing ahead.
Cimarex Energy Co. (NYSE: XEC) was started as Outperform at Wells Fargo.
Digital Turbine Inc. (NASDAQ: APPS) was raised to Buy from Neutral with a $2.35 price target (versus a $1.26 close) at Ladenburg Thalmann.
Gilead Sciences Inc. (NASDAQ: GILD) was reiterated as Hold and the price target was cut to $91 from $93 at Jefferies.
Intrawest Resorts Holdings Inc. (NYSE: SNOW) was downgraded to Sector Weight from Overweight at KeyBanc Capital Markets.
JD.com Inc. (NASDAQ: JD) was started as Neutral at JPMorgan.
J2 Global Inc. (NASDAQ: JCOM) was started as Outperform with an $83 price target at Robert W. Baird.
Mettler-Toledo International Inc. (NYSE: MTD) was raised to Buy from Neutral with a $470 price objective (versus a $404.33 close) at Merrill Lynch.
Parkway Properties Inc. (NYSE: PKY) was downgraded to Market Perform from Outperform at Raymond James.
Stewart Information Services Corp. (NYSE: STC) was downgraded to Sell from Neutral at Janney, noting that the recent rally took shares to where they are valued on speculation rather than fundamentals.
WCI Communities Inc. (NYSE: WCIC) was started as Market Outperform with a $22 price target (versus an $18.77 close) at JMP Securities.
YY Inc. (NASDAQ: YY) was started as Overweight at JPMorgan.
Tuesday’s top analyst calls included Apple, BHP Billiton, Broadcom, McDonald’s, Sophiris, Tech Data and over a dozen more.
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