Stocks have broken above that elusive Dow Jones Industrial Average 20,000, and the S&P 500 Index even hit 2,300. Stocks were looking for direction on Friday after a weaker than expected preliminary view of fourth-quarter gross domestic product. There is still a path to Dow 21,422 in 2017, but a lot of things have to go right for that to come around. Even with this bull market almost eight years old, investors still want to buy every sell-off, and they are still looking for new and overlooked opportunities.
24/7 Wall St. reviews dozens of analyst reports each day of the week to find new investing and trading ideas for our readers. Some of these analyst reports cover stocks to buy and others cover stocks to sell or to avoid. Most of the following analyst calls include some color, and Thomson Reuters was used for consensus analyst price target data.
These are the top analyst upgrades, downgrades and initiations seen on Friday, January 27, 2017:
Alphabet Inc. (NASDAQ: GOOGL) has reported earnings and its shares were indicated down just over 1% at $847.00 ahead of Friday’s open. The company formerly known as Google was reiterated as Buy with a $1,000 target at Jefferies, as it is trading at 15 times its ex-cash earnings and they say it remains a top franchise pick. Wedbush kept its same lone Underperform rating and its same $700 price target as traffic acquisition cost pressures weigh on EPS estimates.
Caterpillar Inc. (NYSE: CAT) was raised to Outperform from Market Perform at Wells Fargo. Credit Suisse reiterated its Outperform rating after earnings and noted that Caterpillar still has claws. Shares closed at $97.22 and have a 52-week range of $59.80 to $98.98. The consensus analyst target price is $90.07.
Ford Motor Co. (NYSE: F) was raised to Outperform from Sector Perform with a $14 price target (versus a $12.37 prior close) at RBC Capital Markets. Ford has a 52-week trading range of $11.02 to $14.22 and a consensus price target is $12.83.
Intel Corp. (NASDAQ: INTC) was down 0.6% at $37.56 on Thursday and was indicated up 0.6% at $37.79 on Friday. Morgan Stanley raised Intel’s rating to Equal Weight from Underweight with a $38 price target, in what is obviously a capitulation upgrade after having been negative for too long. Credit Suisse reiterated its Outperform rating and raised its target price to $45 from $40. Intel’s 52-week range is $27.68 to $38.36, and the consensus price target is $40.09.
Microsoft Corp. (NASDAQ: MSFT) closed up 0.9% at $64.27 on Thursday ahead of earnings and was indicated up 1.7% at $65.35 after beating earnings on strong cloud revenues. Jefferies maintained its Underperform rating in defiance, calling its modus operandi the same by exceeding estimates established by its lowered guidance, but the firm did raise its target to $45 from $43. RBC Capital markets raised its target to $71, Canaccord Genuity raised its target to $65, and Stifel raised its target to $68.
Weatherford International PLC (NYSE: WFT) was downgraded to Hold from Buy with a $6 price target (versus a prior close of $5.40) at Jefferies. The downgrade was based on lower estimates that are related largely to slower profit recovery in non-NAM and yet more share dilution.
Wynn Resorts Ltd. (NASDAQ: WYNN) was down 0.9% at $95.50 ahead of earnings and was up 7% at $102.50 afterward despite mixed data. Wynn Resorts was raised to Neutral from Reduce with a $99 price target at Instinet. Its 52-week range is $56.51 to $109.50.
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Other key analyst calls were seen in the following: