Stocks were looking for direction on Thursday. This is the day that the Bank of England raised its short-term interest rates, but it’s also after the U.S. equity indexes hit all-time highs. The raging bull market is now approaching nine years old, and the one trend that prevails is that investors keep finding new reasons to buy stocks after each market sell-off. Those same investors are also looking for new investing and trading ideas to generate gains and income ahead.
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 analyst reports and research notes cover stocks to buy, and others cover stocks to sell or to avoid.
Consensus analyst price target data and valuation metrics are from the Thomson Reuters sell-side research service. Additional color and commentary has been added on most of these daily analyst calls.
These were the top analyst upgrades, downgrades and other research calls from Thursday, November 2, 2017.
Devon Energy Corp. (NYSE: DVN) was raised to Overweight from Equal Weight with a $53 price target (versus a $39.08 prior close) at Stephens. Jefferies reiterated its Buy rating and raised its target to $45 from $43. Shares closed up 5.9% at $39.08 on Wednesday and were indicated up 0.6% at $39.30 on Thursday, in a 52-week trading range of $28.79 to $50.69.
Facebook Inc. (NASDAQ: FB) was up 1.4% at $182.66 ahead of earnings, but after initially trading up to all-time highs its shares were last seen down 0.7% at $181.40 after analyzing higher costs. Facebook was reiterated as Buy and the price target was raised to $225 from $215 at Jefferies. Wedbush Securities reiterated its Outperform rating with a $230 price target. Credit Suisse maintained its Outperform rating but lowered its target price to $230 from $235. the Shares had a prior 52-week range of $113.55 to $182.90.
HollyFrontier Corp. (NYSE: HFC) was started as Overweight with a $47 price target (versus a $39.65 close) at Barclays. Goldman Sachs raised its rating to Neutral from Sell with a $40 price target. The shares were up 7.3% on Wednesday but were indicated up less than 1% on Thursday. The 52-week range is $22.63 to $39.77.
Kimberly-Clark Corp. (NYSE: KMB) was raised to Buy from Hold with a $131 price target (versus a $112.05 close) at Soc-Gen. It has a 52-week range of $110.33 to $136.21, and it has a consensus analyst target price of $123.79.
Square Inc. (NYSE: SQ) was down almost 2% at $36.47 on Wednesday, and it was indicated down 2.1% at $35.70 on Thursday. Square was downgraded to Hold from Buy at Stifel. The do-it-yourself card swiping provider has a 52-week range of $11.43 to $37.52 and a consensus target price of $30.04.
United States Steel Corp. (NYSE: X) was up 7.8% to $27.30 on Wednesday after earnings beat expectations. U.S. Steel was raised to Market Perform from Underperform with a $28 price target at Cowen on Thursday. The 52-week range is $18.02 to $41.83.
Yelp Inc. (NYSE: YELP) was down 1.5% at $46.03 on Wednesday before earnings and was indicated down 1.2% at $45.49 afterward. It was raised to Outperform from Sector Perform with a $55 price target (versus a $46.03 close) at RBC Capital Markets. Wedbush maintained its Neutral rating and $40 price target, noting it remains the top user-generated reviews platform and new business discovery tool, but the firm doesn’t see sustainable linear growth from here. Credit Suisse reiterated its Outperform rating and raised its target price to $51 from $48. Yelp has a 52-week range of $26.93 to $48.17.
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Other key analyst calls were seen as follows: