Top Analyst Upgrades and Downgrades: Amazon, Applied Materials, Avon, CarMax, Micron, Square, Whiting Petroleum and More

Stocks were indicated to open lower on Wednesday, but this is on the heels of two days of solid gains. Investors should keep in mind that the major stock indexes still remain close to all-time highs, with the Dow over 22,100 and the S&P 500 close to 2,500. Another issue that cannot be ignored is that investors have kept finding new reasons to buy stocks after every sell-off. Many investors are also looking for new investing and trading ideas to generate gains and income.

24/7 Wall St. reviews dozens of analyst research reports each day of the week to find new investing and trading ideas for our readers. Some of the top analyst reports cover stocks to buy, while some calls cover stocks to sell or to avoid.

Additional color and commentary has been added on most of the daily analyst calls. Consensus analyst price target data are from the Thomson Reuters sell-side research service.

These were the top analyst upgrades, downgrades, reiterations and other research calls from Wednesday, September 13, 2017. Inc. (NASDAQ: AMZN) was started with a Buy rating and assigned a $1,200 price target (versus a $977.96 prior close) at Loop Capital. Amazon has a 52-week trading range of $710.10 to $1,083.31 and a consensus analyst price target of $1,147.28.

Applied Materials Inc. (NASDAQ: AMAT) was raised to Buy from Neutral at Goldman Sachs. It has a 52-week range of $27.56 to $47.86 and a consensus price target of $55.02. Shares of Applied Materials were last seen up 1.3% at $46.25 on Wednesday.

Avon Products Inc. (NYSE: AVP) was started with an Underperform rating and given a $2.20 price target (versus a $2.58 close) at Jefferies. Avon shares were indicated down 1.1% at $2.55 on Wednesday, in a 52-week range of $2.40 to $6.96 and with a consensus price target of $3.92.

CarMax Inc. (NYSE: KMX) was reiterated as Outperform with a $77 price target (versus a $68.50 close) at Wedbush Securities. The firm noted that hurricane demand is a boost and that CarMax will have a better price environment ahead. CarMax has a 52-week range of $47.50 to $69.52.

Micron Technology Inc. (NASDAQ: MU) was raised to Buy from Neutral and the price target was raised to $40 from $33 (versus a $34.29 close) at Goldman Sachs. The 52-week range is $16.17 to $34.54, and the consensus price target is $43.72. Shares of Micron were indicated up 1.2% at $34.70 on Wednesday after the upgrade, and that would mark the highest stock price going back to the prior top of $35 or so back in November 2014.

Square Inc. (NYSE: SQ) was started with an Overweight rating and assigned a $31 price target (versus a $27.27 close) at Cantor Fitzgerald. Square has a 52-week range of $10.88 to $27.97 and a consensus price target of $28.00

Whiting Petroleum Corp. (NYSE: WLL) is still planning on a reverse stock split. Whiting was downgraded to Underweight from Equal Weight with a $3.50 price target (versus a $4.44 close) at Morgan Stanley. It has a 52-week range of $3.97 to $13.39 and a consensus price target of $7.83. The shares were indicated lower by about 1% at $4.40 on Wednesday.

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Other key analyst calls were seen in the following:

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