Stocks were indicated to open sharply higher on Monday after the French election outcome favored Macron and therefore no threat to the EU existence. Even though this bull market is now more than eight years old, investors have found reason after reason to step in and buy the market sell-offs. Those same investors also are 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 of the key analyst reports cover stocks to buy, and others 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 Monday, April 24, 2017:
AK Steel Holding Corp. (NYSE: AKS) was raised to Outperform from Neutral with an $8 price target at Macquarie. The stock previously closed down 1.5% at $6.72 and was indicated up 3.7% at $6.97 on Monday morning. AK Steel has a 52-week trading range of $3.31 to $11.39 and had a consensus analyst price target of $9.61.
Amazon.com Inc. (NASDAQ: AMZN) was reiterated as Outperform at Wedbush Securities, but the firm launched its 12-month price target up to $1,250 from $900 ahead of earnings. The firm expects Amazon to continue delivering substantial earnings growth, tempered by spending on new initiatives, and it sees revenue at or above its higher end of guidance: $35.97 billion or so versus consensus of $35.3 billion and guidance of $33.25 billion to $35.75 billion.
AngloGold Ashanti Ltd. (NYSE: AU) was downgraded to Sector Perform from Outperform at RBC Capital Markets. The firm noted that its valuation should have it perform more in line with peers rather than for it to outperform. The American depositary shares closed down 0.6% at $12.43 on Friday and were indicated to open at $11.96 on Monday. The 52-week range is $9.28 to $22.91, and the consensus price target is $13.70.
Bank of America Corp. (NYSE: BAC) was downgraded to Hold from Buy with a $22 price target (versus a $22.71 prior close) at Berenberg. Shares closed down 1.5% at $22.71 on Friday and were indicated up almost 2% at $23.16 on Monday. The 52-week range is $12.05 to $25.80, and the consensus analyst target is $25.63.
General Electric Corp. (NYSE: GE) was maintained as Buy at Argus, but the firm lowered its price target to $33 from $36 after earnings. The firm noted that GE should have high single-digit earnings growth over the next five years and should benefit from its renewed focus on its industrial businesses, as well as from power generation, aviation and health care. GE shares closed down 2.4% at $29.55 on Friday after earnings, but shares were indicated up 1% at $29.87. The 52-week range is $28.19 to $33.00.
Walt Disney Co. (NYSE: DIS) was downgraded to Hold from Buy at Loop Capital. Shares closed down 0.3% at $114.44 on Friday but were indicated up 0.5% at $115.00 on Monday. Disney’s 52-week range is $90.32 to $115.12. Its consensus price target was $118.70.
Xilinx Inc. (NASDAQ: XLNX) was raised to Outperform from Neutral and the price target was raised to $70 from $65 (versus a $57.69 close) at Credit Suisse. The firm sees an important multiyear inflection with acceleration in data center efforts. Xilinx has a consensus target price of $60.29 and a 52-week range of $41.53 to $62.24.
Other key analyst calls were seen in the following: