Top Analysts Upgrades and Downgrades: AMD, Comerica, General Mills, Mastercard, Vertex Pharmaceuticals and More

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Wednesday the Dow Jones Industrial Average tried to continue its march to 20,000 but sold off later in the trading session after the Federal Reserve finally raised interest rates for the first time in a year. The increase of one-quarter of 1%, or 25 basis points, was widely expected and was pretty baked into the fixed income markets. Futures traded slightly higher Thursday morning as traders and investors digest the Fed’s statement, which some saw as a touch more hawkish than expected.

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

These are this Thursday’s top analyst upgrades, downgrades and initiations.

Advanced Micro Devices Inc. (NASDAQ: AMD) was raised to Equal Weight from Underweight at Morgan Stanley. The 52-week trading range for the old-school chip giant is $1.75 to $10.93, while the Wall Street consensus price target is $8.42. The stock closed Wednesday near that high at $10.55.

Archer Daniels Midland Co. (NYSE: ADM) was resumed with a Hold rating at Stifel. The firm’s price objective for the stock is $46. The stock was also started at Neutral at Piper Jaffray. The 52-week range for the shares is $29.86 to $47.88. The consensus price target is $45.50, which is right in line with where the shares closed Wednesday at $45.59.

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Comerica Inc. (NYSE: CMA) was raised to Neutral from Underperform at Merrill Lynch. The 52-week trading range is $30.48 to $70.44, and the consensus price target is $62.18. Shares closed yesterday at $67.53.

General Mills Inc. (NYSE: GIS) was downgraded to Sector Perform from Outperform at RBC Capital Markets. The firm also lowered its price target to $69 from $73, citing rapid declines in volume. The 52-week range is $55.53 to $72.95, and the consensus price target is set at $66.13. Shares closed yesterday at $62.87.

Mastercard Inc. (NYSE: MA) was raised to Buy from Neutral at Merrill Lynch. The 52-week range is $78.52 to $108.93. The consensus price objective is $118.60. The stock closed Wednesday at $103.28.

Phillips 66 Partners L.P. (NYSE: PSXP) was downgrade to Sell from Neutral at Goldman Sachs. The 52-week range is $42.47 to $66.81. The consensus price objective is $57.50. The stock closed on Wednesday at $45.45.

United Therapeutics Corp. (NASDAQ: UTHR) was started at Outperform at Oppenheimer. The 52-week range for the stock is $97.52 to $163.22. The consensus price objective is $129.18. The stock closed Wednesday at $138.09.

Valeant Pharmaceutical Inc. (NYSE: VRX) was downgraded to Equal Weight from Overweight at Morgan Stanley, which also lowered its price target to $17 from $25. The 52-week range is $13.77 to $117.65. The consensus price target is $24.66, and the shares closed yesterday at $14.12.

Vertex Pharmaceuticals Inc. (NASDAQ: VRTX) was started at Perform at Oppenheimer. The 52-week range for the biotech leader is $73.31 to $129.18. Its consensus price target is $101.80. The stock closed nicely higher at $78.33.

24/7 Wall St. also released the preliminary Dogs of the Dow for 2017 for massive dividends. This list is still subject to change.

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Other key analysts upgrades and downgrades were seen in the following: