Stocks were indicated marginally higher on Wednesday, after Tuesday finally broke a multiyear record for down days in the markets. The Dow Jones Industrial Average is still down less than 600 points from its recent all-time highs, and investors have to understand that there is still an interest in buying every pullback, even as the bull market is more than eight years old. Investors are also still looking for new trading and investing ideas.
24/7 Wall St. reviews dozens of analyst research reports each day of the week in an effort to find new ideas for our readers. Some analyst reports cover stocks to buy, and some reports cover stocks to sell or to avoid.
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 29, 2017:
Boeing Co. (NYSE: BA) was started with a Buy rating and assigned a $202 price target (versus a $177.36 prior close) at Berenberg. Boeing has a 52-week trading range of $122.35 to $185.71 and a consensus analyst target price of $176.50.
Capital One Financial Corp. (NYSE: COF) was raised to Buy from Neutral and the price target was raised to $105 from $97 (versus an $84.17 close) at Instinet. Capital One’s 52-week range is $58.03 to $96.92 and its consensus target price is $99.32.
CenturyLink Inc. (NYSE: CTL) was started with an Overweight rating and assigned a $27 price target (versus a $22.52 close) at Morgan Stanley. CenturyLink has a 52-week range of $22.33 to $33.45 and a consensus price target of $27.15.
Morgan Stanley (NYSE: MS) was raised to Buy from Hold with a $47 price target (versus a $42.49 close) at Deutsche Bank. The upgrade included positive notes about trading and fixed income. The 52-week range is $23.11 to $47.33, and the consensus analyst target is $47.08.
NRG Energy Inc. (NYSE: NRG) was raised to Buy from Neutral with a $26 price target (versus an $18.11 close) at Goldman Sachs. NRG has been among the top stocks in the S&P 500 in 2017, in part on takeover hopes. It has a 52-week range of $9.84 to $18.56 and a consensus analyst target of $20.36. NRG shares were indicated up 2% at $18.50 on Wednesday morning.
Vertex Pharmaceuticals Inc. (NASDAQ: VRTX) was raised to Outperform from Market Perform at BMO Capital Markets. Jefferies reiterated its Buy rating and $100 target price. Shares closed down 1.2% at $89.67 on Tuesday but were indicated up 18% at $106.00 on positive news about its cystic fibrosis drug.
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Other key analyst calls were seen in the following: