Top Analyst Upgrades and Downgrades: Apple, BHP Billiton, CBS, Eli Lilly, GE, Halliburton, IBM, Schlumberger, Verizon and More

Stocks were lower on Monday, but perhaps not as bad as many might have worried about considering the government shutdown. What investors have to consider is that prior to the pullback, the Dow Jones Industrial Average went over 26,100 and had the fastest 1,000-point move on record of just eight trading days. Investors also have to consider that buying stocks on any dips has been the winning move for about six years now. Now it’s time to decide how to position portfolios for 2018 and beyond.

24/7 Wall St. reviews dozens of analyst research reports each day of the week. The goal is to find new investing and trading ideas for investors and traders alike. Some 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.

24/7 Wall St. has also identified 10 top technology giants that analysts have grown more bullish for strong earnings and guidance ahead of their formal earnings reports in the next couple of weeks.

These were the top analyst upgrades, downgrades and other research calls from Monday, January 22, 2018.

Abbott Laboratories (NYSE: ABT) was downgraded to Neutral from Buy at BTIG.

Aetna Inc. (NYSE: AET) was raised to Buy from Hold and the price target was raised to $212, versus a $195 prior price target and a $187.80 close, at Deutsche Bank.

AFLAC Inc. (NYSE: AFL) was raised to Strong Buy from Outperform at Raymond James.

American Electric Power Co. Inc. (NYSE: AEP) was raised to Outperform from Neutral with a $76 price target at Macquarie, just after AEP was raised to Buy from Hold with a $75 price target at Deutsche Bank just last week.

American Express Co. (NYSE: AXP) was downgraded to Neutral from Buy with a $102 price target (versus a $98.03 prior close) at Guggenheim. The shares were down 1.8% on Friday after earnings and were indicated down another 0.75% at $97.30 on Monday.

Andeavor Logistics L.P. (NYSE: ANDX) was started with a Buy rating and assigned a $58 price target (versus a $52.52 close) at Citigroup.

Apple Inc. (NASDAQ: AAPL) was downgraded to Neutral from Outperform at Atlantic Equities. Apple closed down 0.45% at $178.46 on Friday, but this call was about softening signs for iPhone demand rather than just being about valuations. The stock was indicated down 0.6% at $177.35 on Monday, with a 52-week trading range of $119.50 to $180.10.

BHP Billiton Ltd. (NYSE: BHP) was downgraded to Market Perform from Outperform at Bernstein. BHP’s American depositary shares closed up 0.65% at $49.65 on Friday, and it was indicated down 0.2% at $49.55 on Monday.

Caesarstone Ltd. (NASDAQ: CSTE) was downgraded to Underperform from Neutral at Credit Suisse. While the firm was positive on the building products sector as a whole, the firm is awaiting greater clarity around its ongoing turnaround efforts to restart its domestic growth.

CBS Corp. (NYSE: CBS) was downgraded to Equal Weight from Overweight with a $64 price target (versus a $57.75 close) at Stephens.

Charles River Laboratories International Inc. (NYSE: CRL) was downgraded to Hold from Buy with a $111 price target (versus a $107.89 close) at SunTrust Robinson Humphrey.

Dunkin’ Brands Group Inc. (NASDAQ: DNKN) was raised to Outperform from Market Perform at William Blair.

Dynavax Technologies Corp. (NASDAQ: DVAX) was started as Outperform with a $27 price target (versus a $15.65 close) at RBC Capital Markets.

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