Stocks were indicated slightly positive on Thursday after a mixed Wednesday and following a large drop on Tuesday. This is ahead of a key legislative test on the repeal and replacement for Obamacare. The bull market is now over eight years old, and investors keep finding new reasons to drive stocks higher and to buy those same stocks on every market sell-off. Oil also has dropped to the lowest levels since late in 2016.
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 certain analyst calls here, and the consensus analyst price targets referenced are from Thomson Reuters. These are the top analyst upgrades, downgrades and initiations seen on Thursday, March 23, 2017:
Cloud Peak Energy (NYSE: CLD) was raised to Market Perform from Underperform at FBR Capital Markets.
Dollar Tree Inc. (NASDAQ: DLTR) was raised to Neutral from Underperform with a $73 price target (versus a $73.98 prior close) at Credit Suisse.
FireEye Inc. (NASDAQ: FEYE) was raised to Buy from Neutral at Goldman Sachs, and the firm raised its target to $15 from $10 (versus an $11.49 close). A similar call was made earlier in the week by Merrill Lynch, but its target was even more aggressive at $18.
Ferrari N.V. (NYSE: RACE) was raised to Buy from Neutral at Citigroup, just about 10 days after having been started with a similar Buy rating at Jefferies.
Fortive Corp. (NYSE: FTV) was started as Sector Perform at RBC Capital Markets.
Herman Miller Inc. (NASDAQ: MLHR) was raised to Market Perform from Underperform at Raymond James.
Kroger Co. (NYSE: KR) was raised to Outperform from Sector Perform at RBC Capital Markets.
Lazard Ltd. (NYSE: LAZ) was raised to Neutral from Underperform at Merrill Lynch, noting that the call was on near-term fundamentals and a discount valuation versus peers.
ManTech International Corp. (NASDAQ: MANT) was raised to Market Perform from Underperform at Wells Fargo.
Meredith Corp. (NYSE: MDP) was maintained as Hold but the price target was raised to $65 (versus a $62.75 close) at Benchmark.
Norfolk Southern Co. (NYSE: NSC) was downgraded to Underperform from Sector Perform at RBC Capital Markets.
Proofpoint Inc. (NASDAQ: PFPT) was downgraded to Sell from an already cautious Neutral rating at Goldman Sachs.
Steelcase Inc. (NYSE: SCS) was raised to Strong Buy from Market Perform at Raymond James.
SUPERVALU Inc. (NYSE: SVU) was raised to Outperform from Sector Perform at RBC Capital Markets. Shares were indicated up 6% at $3.54 on Thursday.
Ultragenyx Pharmaceutical Inc. (NASDAQ: RARE) was indicated down 7% at $72.85 on Thursday due to results from a seizure medication study. It was downgraded to Neutral from Overweight at Piper Jaffray, and Wedbush lowered its target for the stock.
Verifone Systems Inc. (NYSE: PAY) was maintained as In-Line at Imperial Capital, but the price target was raised to $20 from $18 (versus an $18.53 close).
Varonis Systems Inc. (NASDAQ: VRNS) was raised to Market Perform from Underperform at Stifel.
Wednesday’s top analyst calls included FedEx, Frontier Communications, IBM, LendingClub, Micron Technology, Nike, Sirius XM, Urban Outfitters and many more.
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