Stocks have risen in the first two trading days of 2018 to all-time highs, and Thursday’s opening bell was indicated higher as well. The Dow has a path to rise to over 26,400 in 2018, and Dow 25,000 is already within sight. Investors are deciding how they want to be positioned in 2018. It turns out that accelerated economic growth, higher earnings growth and tax reform are continuing to entice investors. 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 Thursday, January 4, 2018.
Alphabet Inc. (NASDAQ: GOOGL) was reiterated as Outperform and the price target was raised to $1,230 from $1,150 (versus a $1,091.52 prior close) at Cowen. Alphabet, or Google as most of us still call it, has a 52-week trading range of $805.92 to $1,104.08. It also has a consensus analyst target price of $1,181.90.
Avon Products Inc. (NYSE: AVP) was downgraded to Underperform from Neutral and the price objective was lowered to $2.50 from $3.00 (versus a $2.22 close) at Merrill Lynch. Avon shares were indicated down about 3% on the downgrade, and its 52-week range is $1.85 to $6.03.
Bank of America Corp. (NYSE: BAC) has seen multiple analyst upgrades on its target prices this week, and now Credit Suisse has reiterated its Outperform rating and raised its price target to $35 from $32. Shares have seen a 52-week trading range of $22.01 to $30.03. They were indicated up 0.6% at $29.99 on Thursday but sold off on Wednesday by 0.3%. Update after the opening bell: Shares hit a post-recession high of $30.40 briefly on Thursday.
Intel Corp. (NASDAQ: INTC) was reiterated as Outperform at Credit Suisse, noting that the current security threat that hit the stock is close to a non-issue and the shares overreacted to the downside because the security concern is not unique to Intel, it is not expected to create a major financial issue and the issue should be fixed soon. Intel shares closed down 3.4% at $45.26 on Wednesday due to the security news, and despite this call its stock was indicated down another 2.4% at $44.17 on Thursday. Intel’s 52-week range is $33.23 to $47.64.
Roku Inc. (NASDAQ: ROKU) was downgraded to Underweight from Equal Weight at Morgan Stanley, and the firm has a very negative price target of just $30. The firm believes the good news on Roku is now already price in and then some after close to a 300% rise since its IPO. Roku shares were down 7% at $51.25, with a post-IPO range of $15.75 to $58.80. Its consensus target price was last seen at $31.60.
Snap Inc. (NYSE: SNAP) was downgraded to Underperform from Market Perform and the price target was cut to $11 from $12 at Cowen. Shares closed up 2.4% at $15.31 on Wednesday but were indicated down 2.4% at $14.93 on Thursday, and the social media company (not a camera company as it wants to represent itself) has a 52-week range of $11.28 to $29.44 and a consensus price target of $12.78. Update after the opening bell: Snap shares were down even further (−5%) than the initial indications.
Western Digital Corp. (NASDAQ: WDC) was downgraded to Market Perform from Outperform and the price target was cut to $85 from $120 (versus an $82.67 close) at BMO Capital Markets. Western Digital shares were indicated down 1.2% at $81.67 on Thursday, in a 52-week range of $69.10 to $95.77.
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Other key analyst calls were seen as follows: