Stocks closed sharply higher on Wednesday after Fed Chair Janet Yellen signaled that the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) may be close to having rates at a normalized level and reconfirming that the unwinding of the more than 44.4 trillion balance sheet would be gradual and controlled. Thursday’s market indications were indicated to open slightly higher, and even with a bull market of more than eight years, it keeps being demonstrated that investors will buy stocks on any pullback or sell-off. Those same investors also continue to search for new investing and trading ideas.
24/7 Wall St. reviews dozens of analyst research reports each day of the week in an effort to find new investing and trading ideas for our readers. Some of these analyst reports cover stocks to buy. Other reports cover stocks to sell or to avoid.
Consensus analyst price target data are from the Thomson Reuters sell-side research service. Additional color and commentary also has been added on most of the daily analyst calls.
These were the top analyst upgrades, downgrades and other research calls from Thursday, July 13, 2017.
Agilent Technologies Inc. (NYSE: A) was raised to Outperform from Market Perform at Wells Fargo. Shares closed up 1.56% at $60.73 on Wednesday, and the stock has a 52-week trading range of $42.92 to $61.15, as well as a consensus analyst target price of $64.61.
AT&T Inc. (NYSE: T) was downgraded to Neutral from Buy with a $39 price objective (versus a $36.83 prior close) at Merrill Lynch. AT&T shares were indicated down 0.6% at $36.63. They have a 52-week range of $36.10 to $43.50 and a consensus price target of $40.73.
Halcon Resources Corp. (NYSE: HK) was raised to Equal Weight from Underweight with an $8 price target (versus a $6.37 close) at Barclays. Halcon recently saw its shares surge by almost 50% on a huge asset sale, but it gave back 5.6% on Wednesday. The 52-week range is $3.69 to $15.86, and the consensus price target is $8.83.
HP Inc. (NYSE: HPQ) was started with a Neutral rating and given a $20 price target (versus an $18.04 close) at Susquehanna Financial. HP has a 52-week range of $13.55 to $19.58 and a consensus price target of $20.74.
International Paper Co. (NYSE: IP) was raised to Buy from Neutral with a $64 price target (versus a $57.21 close) at Goldman Sachs. The 52-week range is $43.55 to $58.86, and the consensus price target is $58.50.
Seagate Technology PLC (NASDAQ: STX) was downgraded to Underweight from Equal Weight at Barclays. Seagate closed up 2.5% at $39.70 on Wednesday and was indicated down 4% at $38.10 on Thursday. Shares have a 52-week range of $28.30 to $50.96 and a consensus price target of $46.40.
Snap Inc. (NYSE: SNAP) has seen its share of downgrades and it has broken under its IPO price. Stifel now sees value and raised Snap shares to Buy from Hold, and the price target was set at $22 per share. Snap closed down 1.5% at $15.24 on Wednesday but was indicated up 3% at $15.70 on Thursday. Its IPO was at $17 and it has a post-IPO range of $15.21 to $29.44. The consensus analyst target is a bit controversial because it has such a wide range of targets ($9 on the low side and about $30 on the high side), but the consensus estimate is roughly $20 now.
Merrill Lynch has released its top internet stocks for the second half of 2017, ahead of earnings season.
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Other key analyst upgrades and downgrades were seen in the following: