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Top Analyst Upgrades and Downgrades: Baker Hughes, Cree, Freeport-McMoRan, GrubHub, Silver Wheaton, Dynegy, Panera, Ulta and More

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Stocks were indicated marginally higher on Thursday as jobless claims are running at the lowest level since 1973. The Dow is still above 20,000 and the S&P 500 remains close to the 2,300 level. Even though the bull market in nearly eight years old, investors have managed to find new reasons to buy every sell-off. Investors are also looking for new and overlooked opportunities in the market. And there is a path for DJIA 21,422 later in 2017 or in early 2018.

24/7 Wall St. reviews dozens of analyst reports each day of the week. The goal is to find new investing and trading ideas for our readers. Some analyst reports cover stocks to buy, while other reports cover stocks to sell or avoid.

Most of the following featured analyst calls include some color on the trading, and the consensus earnings estimates or consensus price targets are from Thomson Reuters. These are the top analyst upgrades, downgrades and initiations seen on Thursday, February 9, 2017:

Baker Hughes Inc. (NYSE: BHI) was raised to Positive from Neutral with a $71 price target (versus a $61.16 prior close) at Susquehanna. Baker Hughes has a 52-week trading range of $38.16 to $68.59 and a consensus analyst target price of $69.46.

Cree Inc. (NASDAQ: CREE) was downgraded to Market Perform from Outperform at JMP Securities. Cree has a 52-week range of $20.75 to $32.92 and a consensus price target of $26.05. Shares were indicated down almost 6% at $26.32 after news that Infineon and Cree have warned that the U.S. might block the pending Wolfspeed deal.

Freeport-McMoRan Inc. (NYSE: FCX) was started with a Neutral rating and assigned a $14 price target (versus a $15.53 close) at JPMorgan. Freeport-McMoRan has a 52-week range of $4.65 to $17.06 and a consensus price target of $14.76.

GrubHub Inc. (NYSE: GRUB) closed down 3.5% at $39.86 on Wednesday. It was downgraded to Neutral from Buy with a $42 price target at Mizuho. Wedbush reiterated its Outperform rating and $47 target price, calling Grubhub the market leader in the growing online restaurant takeout and delivery space, and the firm sees it continuing to benefit from its early lead and scale. Credit Suisse reiterated its Outperform rating with a $48 price target.

Silver Wheaton Corp. (NYSE: SLW) was downgraded to Neutral from Buy with a $25 target price (versus a $22.82 close) at Goldman Sachs. Silver Wheaton has a 52-week range of $14.36 to $31.35 and a consensus price target of $29.36.

There is still enthusiasm for the bull market’s strength, but there is one view that may at least be worth consideration here. Merrill Lynch’s strategy team issued several blurbs on Thursday. They noted that the S&P 500 recently reached 17 times forward earnings, a level briefly reached in 2015 but otherwise not seen since 2004. They also said that financial stocks and energy stocks saw multiples contract in January as earnings estimates rose faster than prices.

Follow @Jonogg on Twitter to get analyst calls and research summaries posted directly to your feed.

Other key analyst calls were seen in the following:

Bio-Techne Corp. (NASDAQ: TECH) was started as Buy with a $115 price target (versus a $99.86 close) at Citigroup.

Dynegy Inc. (NYSE: DYN) was downgraded to Sell from Hold with a $6 price target at Deutsche Bank. Dynegy closed down 1.3% at $8.70 on Wednesday and was indicated down over 6% at $8.15 on Thursday.

FedEx Corp. (NYSE: FDX) was reiterated as Buy with a $220 price objective at Merrill Lynch, noting that the peak ground margin impacts have passed and they look for improving free cash flow.

OraSure Technologies Inc. (NASDAQ: OSUR) was indicated up 23% at $10.92 after earnings. It was raised to Outperform from Market Perform at Raymond James

Panera Bread Co. (NASDAQ: PNRA) was reiterated as Buy and the price target was raised to $267 from $245 at Jefferies. Panera was cut to Neutral from Buy at Longbow, but Credit Suisse reiterated its Outperform rating and its price target was raised to $260 from $225.

Rambus Inc. (NASDAQ: RMBS) was raised to Overweight from Neutral with a $14.50 price target (versus a $12.40 close) at JPMorgan. Rambus was indicated up 2.8% at $12.75 on Thursday.

Southern Copper Corp. (NYSE: SCCO) was downgraded to Underweight from Equal Weight at Barclays, but the price target was bumped from $32 to $33 in the call. Southern Copper shares closed up 2% at $38.70 on Wednesday, and its 52-week range is $23.54 to $39.23.

Spark Technologies Inc. (NASDAQ: ONCE) was started with an Outperform and assigned an $85 price target (versus a $63.06 close) at Leerink.

Synchronoss Technologies Inc. (NASDAQ: SNCR) was downgraded to Hold from Buy and the price target was cut to $35 from $50 at Deutsche Bank, Synchronoss was down 4% at $35.38 on Wednesday ahead of earnings, and shares were indicated down 14% at $30.40 in Thursday’s early bird indications. The 52-week range is $22.00 to $49.94.

Ulta Beauty Inc. (NASDAQ: ULTA) was started as Hold with a $285 price target (versus a $272.82 closing price) at Loop Capital.

Vantiv Inc. (NYSE: VNTV) was downgraded to Hold but the price target was raised to $69 from $65 (versus a $63.60 close) at Jefferies. The firm noted that it sees upside potential to estimates in 2017 and 2018, and it acknowledges that Vantiv would see material accretion from U.S. corporate tax reform. That being said, the firm believes those dynamics are largely priced in.

Westlake Chemical Corp. (NYSE: WLK) was started as Buy and assigned a $72 price target (versus a $61.99 close) at Citigroup.

Also, 24/7 Wall St. has featured five safe dividend stocks to own if the big market correction ever comes.

Wednesday’s top analyst upgrades and downgrades included Broadcom, Cheniere Energy, Gilead Sciences, Microchip Technology, Twitter, Lennar, Bankrate and over a dozen more.

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