20 Stocks Receiving Multiple Analyst Upgrades the First Week of 2018

It’s already the end of the first week of 2018, and the stock market has continued its strong bullish trends into the new year. The Dow Jones Industrial Average and S&P 500 even closed up each of the first four days of the year. Investors are trying to figure out how to invest their money ahead, and they are also looking for new ideas. 24/7 Wall St. covers dozens of analyst reports on most trading days, and this ends up being hundreds of calls on most weeks.

Many analyst calls are simply maintenance calls that come with a slight tweaks against expectations. Others are more than impacting. But what happens when you get several analysts issuing upgrades in their formal ratings or in their price targets? That’s called an analyst party, and that flurry of activity is usually enough to attract the attention of investors looking for new ideas.

The Dow rose by 25% and the S&P 500 rose over 19% in 2017, continuing at least so far in 2018. These gains were on the heels of tax reform and acceleration in gross domestic product and in earnings. 24/7 Wall St. gave a baseline outlook of 26,400 on the Dow and close to 2,850 on the S&P 500. The Dow already has crossed 25,000 and the S&P 500 is now close to 2,750.

It turns out that numerous companies saw multiple analyst upgrades or price target hikes during the first week of 2018. Many of them were banking stocks, in part because their tax rates were so much higher than most companies and they will easily benefit under tax reform.

Here are 20 stocks that have seen multiple positive analyst calls during the first trading week of 2018.

Abbott Laboratories (NYSE: ABT) debuted 2018 with two analyst upgrades on the first trading day of the year. JPMorgan raised it to Overweight from Neutral and the price target was raised to $65 from $60 at, with the firm citing solid fundamentals and organic growth and new product launches. Morgan Stanley raised the stock to Overweight from Neutral, with the price target raised to $67 from $60, citing a device pipeline bringing accelerated growth along with deal synergies driving earnings. Abbott Labs closed up 0.3% at $58.99 a share on Friday, for a gain of 3.35% for the first week of 2018.

Alliance Data Systems Corp. (NYSE: ADS) saw its shares rise almost 2% to $260.25 on Wednesday to within about 2% or so of a new high. Barclays raised its rating to Overweight from Equal Weight and its price target to $310 from $265. ADS also saw Deutsche Bank reiterate its Buy rating and boost its price target to $298 from $278. And RBC even reiterated its Buy rating and $293 price target. The shares closed the week at $264.76, up almost 4.5% from the $253.48 close on the last print of 2017.

American Express Co. (NYSE: AXP) managed to have a solid 2017, and analysts have continued to shed their negative views. Deutsche Bank started the stock with a Buy rating on Wednesday. Also bumping up price targets were Instinet (to $110 from $95) and Oppenheimer (to $117 from $99). Shares of Amex were up 0.6% at $99.55 late on Wednesday after the calls, but shares went higher to 52-week highs. The stock ended the week at $101.08 a share, up 1.8% from the $99.31 closing price on the last day of 2017.

Bank of America Corp. (NYSE: BAC) is a tax reform winner and is expected to do better with higher interest rates and lower regulation ahead. 24/7 Wall St. tracked four different target hikes since the start of 2017: Barclays to $35 from $28, Bernstein to $34 from $32, Instinet to $37 from $30 and Oppenheimer to $34 from $31. Credit Suisse reiterated its Outperform rating and raised its target to $35 from $32 late in the week. Its stock is at a post-recession high. The shares closed the first week of 2018 with gain of almost 0.5% on Friday to $30.33, but that was a total gain of 2.75% from the final $29.52 closing price of 2017.

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