Stocks showed that they can finally stage a sell-off on Tuesday, and futures indicated a marginally weaker open on Wednesday. As stocks remain rather close to their all-time highs, the bull market is now more than eight years old. So far, the one trend that has held up is that investors have managed to buy stocks on every single pullback. Those same investors are also looking for new trading and investing ideas.
24/7 Wall St. reviews dozens of analyst research 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 others cover stocks to sell or to avoid.
Some color has been added on many of the following calls, and the consensus analyst price targets referenced are from Thomson Reuters. These are the top analyst upgrades, downgrades and initiations seen on Wednesday, March 22, 2017:
FedEx Corp. (NYSE: FDX) was down 0.2% at $191.84 before earnings, but the stock’s initial post-earnings drop had turned into a gain of 2.5% at $196.75 on Wednesday morning. Credit Suisse reiterated its Outperform rating and raised its target to $229 from $219, noting that the market should shrug off an initial earnings miss as the stage is set for significant growth at FedEx Express. Merrill Lynch reiterated its Buy rating and raised its price objective to $230 from $220. FedEx’s 52-week trading range is $145.00 to $201.57.
Frontier Communications Corp. (NASDAQ: FTR) was downgraded to Sell from an already cautious Neutral rating at Goldman Sachs, and the firm cut the target to $1.50 from $3.00 (versus a $2.36 prior close). Shares were indicated down 7% at $2.19 on Wednesday, which is under its 52-week range of $2.31 to $5.75.
International Business Machines Corp. (NYSE: IBM) used its annual investor day to talk up the progress on its strategic initiatives (cloud, Watson, analytics and cognitive computing), but its shares closed down 1% at $173.88 on Tuesday due to a broad market sell-off. Argus reiterated its Buy rating and raised its price target to $192 from $185. Argus noted that IBM has two ways to grow its cloud space because it is a cloud equipment infrastructure provider and a cloud host.
LendingClub Corp. (NYSE: LC) was raised to Neutral from Underperform and the price target was raised to $5.00 from $4.50 (versus a $5.22 close) at Wedbush Securities. It has a 52-week range of $3.44 to $8.48.
Micron Technology Inc. (NASDAQ: MU) was reiterated as Outperform and the price target was raised to $35 from $30 (versus a $25.52 close) at Credit Suisse. The firm sees a sustained memory market momentum helping to boost Micron. Its 52-week range is $9.35 to $26.61. The consensus analyst target price was shown to be $32.79.
Nike Inc. (NYSE: NKE) was last seen trading lower on earnings, as futures orders disappoint and headwinds persist. Wedbush maintained its Neutral rating and $52 target. Jefferies maintained its Buy rating and $74 target, calling the gains by Adidas at a peak, and the firm is positive on Nike’s current product cycle. Merrill Lynch maintained its Underperform rating on Nike, noting that Vapormax could miss high expectations and with revenues expected to remain pressured.
Sirius XM Holdings Inc. (NASDAQ: SIRI) was downgraded to Equal Weight from Overweight at Barclays. It closed down 2.2% at $5.19 on Tuesday and was indicated down 0.6% more at $5.16 on Wednesday. Sirius XM has a 52-week range of $3.74 to $5.53 and a consensus analyst price target of $5.25.
Urban Outfitters Inc. (NASDAQ: URBN) was raised to Overweight from Sector Weight at KeyBanc Capital Markets.
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Other key analyst calls were seen in the following: