Stocks were simply looking for direction, with no real bias up or down, on Wednesday. The markets have all bounced handily after last week’s big sell-off, and investors should consider that the S&P 500 is up against 2,400 and the Dow is up against 21,000 again. The bull market is now well over eight years old, and investors keep proving that they will find one reason, or multiple reasons, to buy every sell-off. 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 of these analyst reports cover stocks to buy, while others cover stocks to sell or to avoid.
Some additional color and commentary has been added on most of the following daily analyst calls. Consensus analyst price targets are from the mean of the Thomson Reuters sell-side research service.
These were the top analyst upgrades, downgrades and other research calls seen on Wednesday, May 24, 2017.
Accenture PLC (NYSE: ACN) was downgraded to Hold from Buy with a $130 price target (versus a $122.15 prior closing price) at SunTrust Robinson Humphreys. It has a 52-week trading range of $108.66 to $126.53 and a consensus analyst target of $130.68.
Ciena Corp. (NASDAQ: CIEN) was downgraded to Hold from Buy with a $23 price target (versus a $24.35 close) at Deutsche Bank. Ciena has a 52-week range of $16.66 to $26.84 and a consensus price target of $28.72.
Shake Shack Inc. (NYSE: SHAK) was started as Overweight and assigned a $44 price target (versus a $37.03 close) at Piper Jaffray. The 52-week range is $30.36 to $42.94, and the consensus price target is $37.90.
United States Steel Corp. (NYSE: X) was raised to Outperform From Neutral by Credit Suisse. U.S. Steel has a 52-week range of $13.68 to $41.83 and a consensus analyst target of $28.25.
Zions Bancorp (NASDAQ: ZION) was downgraded to Neutral from Buy with a $44 price target (versus a $41.34 close) at Goldman Sachs. It has a 52-week range of $23.02 to $48.33 and a consensus price target of $46.21.
Outside of stocks, perhaps the largest downgrade of them all came from Moody’s, when it downgraded the ratings of China to A1 from Aa3. And Moody’s has now changed its outlook to Stable from Negative. The downgrade reflects the ratings agency’s expectation that China’s financial strength will erode somewhat over the coming years and that the economywide debt will continue to rise as potential growth slows. This may seem small in light of the cut, but the iShares China Large-Cap (NYSEMKT: FXI) closed down 0.13% at $39.58 on Tuesday and was indicated down only 0.1% at $39.54 on Wednesday. This exchange traded fund has a 52-week range of $31.96 to $39.85 and about $3.1 billion in assets.
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Other key analyst calls were seen in the following: