Stocks were looking for direction on Thursday, and we are now over 50 days without a 1% move in either direction, despite being close to all-time highs. One thing that has held true is that investors want to buy stocks after every market sell-off and they are still opportunistic. 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 in an effort to find new investing and trading ideas. Some of these analyst research reports cover stocks to buy, and some reports feature stocks to sell or avoid.
These are the top analyst upgrades, downgrades and initiations seen on Thursday morning:
Apple Inc. (NASDAQ: AAPL) saw a small 0.6% gain to $108.36 after debuting its iPhone refresh. Wells Fargo was not so impressed, downgrading the stock to Market Perform from Outperform. Merrill Lynch reiterated its Buy rating and $120 price objective, noting that the new iPhones and Apple Watch were mostly as expected. Apple has a 52-week trading range of $89.47 to $123.82 and a consensus analyst price target of $123.66.
Callon Petroleum Co. (NYSE: CPE) was raised to Outperform from Sector Perform and the price target was raised to $18 from $15 (versus a $15.46 close) at RBC Capital Markets. It has a 52-week range of $4.21 to $15.68 and a consensus price target of $16.77.
Hewlett Packard Enterprise Co. (NYSE: HPE) may have had a low-quality earnings report with light revenues and a small beat on earnings, but the spin-out of most of the software business was shown by Jefferies to be leaving a compelling valuation and the firm raised its price target to $27.00 from $24.25. The stock was reiterated as Buy at Needham, and the price target was raised to $24 from $22. Wells Fargo downgraded it to Market Perform from Outperform. Shares closed at $22.09 and have a consensus price target of $21.56.
Lululemon Athletica Inc. (NASDAQ: LULU) was downgraded to Hold at Jefferies, and the price target was cut to $76 from $80 (versus a $68.23 close). The firm noted that Lululemon still has ample opportunities to grow sales and margins, but it believes this is now largely factored into the stock and thinks the athleisure trend is starting to peak. Lululemon has a 52-week range of $43.14 to $81.81 and a consensus price target of $72.11.
Nike Inc. (NYSE: NKE) was downgraded to Neutral from Overweight with a $58 price target (versus a $57.72 close) at Piper Jaffray. The 52-week range is $51.48 to $68.19, and the consensus price target is $65.79.
Rio Tinto PLC (NYSE: RIO) was raised to Outperform from Sector Perform at RBC Capital Markets. The stock closed at $31.04, and it has a 52-week range of $21.89 to $40.05 with a consensus price target of $35.60.
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Other key analyst upgrades and downgrades were seen as follows: