Stocks did not deviate from hitting all-time highs on the first trading day of the year, and the second trading day of the year is looking positive as well. The Dow Jones Industrial Average was up 25%, and the S&P 500 was up over 19% in 2017, and there is a path for the Dow to go over 26,000 in 2018 if the component impact is smoothed out. Investors have been trying to decide how they want to be positioned in 2018, with accelerated economic and earnings growth after tax reform and at a time when the Federal Reserve is expected to keep raising interest rates. Those same investors are hunting for new investing and trading ideas to generate gains and income into 2018 and beyond.
24/7 Wall St. reviews dozens of analyst research reports each day of the week to find new investing and trading ideas for investors and traders alike. Some of the daily analyst reports and research reports cover stocks to buy. Others cover stocks to sell or to avoid.
Additional color and commentary has been added on most of these daily analyst calls. Consensus analyst price targets mentioned and other valuation metrics are from the Thomson Reuters sell-side research service.
These were the top analyst upgrades, downgrades and other research calls from Wednesday, January 3, 2018.
Bank of America Corp. (NYSE: BAC) rose 1.3% to $29.90 on the first trading day of the year, but shares were indicated to open down a few cents despite three different target price hikes. Instinet raised its target to $37 from $30; Bernstein raised its target to $34 from $32; and Barclays raised its target to $35 from $28.
Honeywell International Inc. (NYSE: HON) was downgraded to Sector Perform from Sector Outperform and the price target was cut to $158 from $163 (versus a $153.71 prior close) at RBC Capital Markets. Honeywell has a 52-week trading range of $116.03 to $156.70 and a consensus analyst target price of $165.56.
International Business Machines Corp. (NYSE: IBM) was raised to Outperform from Sector Perform and the price target was raised to $180 from $160 (versus a $154.25 close) at RBC Capital Markets. Shares closed up 0.5% at $154.25 on Tuesday but were indicated up 1.3% at $156.30 on Wednesday. IBM’s 52-week range is $139.13 to $182.79, and it had a consensus target price of $163.74.
Lululemon Athletica Inc. (NASDAQ: LULU) was reiterated as Buy and the price target was raised to $95 from $89 at Deutsche Bank. Lululemon shares traded up 1.4% to $79.69 on Tuesday, in a 52-week range of $47.26 to $80.27 and with a $76.50 consensus target price.
Oracle Corp. (NYSE: ORCL) was raised to Overweight from Equal Weight with a $57 price target at Morgan Stanley. Oracle closed down 1.37% at $46.63 on Tuesday due to reports that more tech competitors were building out their own database operations. Its shares were indicated up about 1.4% at $47.28 on Wednesday on the heels of the upgrade. The 52-week range is $38.38 to $53.14, and the consensus target price was $55.74.
United Technologies Corp. (NYSE: UTX) was raised to Outperform from Sector Perform and the price target was raised to $160 from $124 at RBC Capital Markets. It has a 52-week range of $106.85 to $128.88, and it had a consensus target price of $128.07.
Wells Fargo & Co. (NYSE: WFC) was raised to Outperform from Market Perform and the price target was raised to $69 from $64 (versus a $61.09 close) at Bernstein. Wells Fargo shares were indicated up over 0.5% at $61.44 on Wednesday, in a 52-week range of $49.27 to $62.24. The prior consensus target price was $60.81.
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Other top analyst calls were seen as follows: