Top Analyst Upgrades and Downgrades: Abbott Labs, Alphabet, Amazon, GE, Gilead, Intel, Seagate, US Steel and Many More

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Stocks proved that they could actually sell-off on Monday, and now the markets are lower on continued pressure. One further driver lower is that an internal health care initiative has been announced by Jeff Bezos, Warren Buffett and Jamie Dimon aimed at improving health and lowering costs. Now that the bull market is almost nine years old and the Dow Jones Industrials has screamed higher in the first month of 2018, investors are looking to position their portfolios for this year and beyond. The trend that has prevailed over and over has been for investors to buy on pullbacks even as interest rates are rising.

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 of these 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 the daily analyst reports. The 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 Tuesday, January 30, 2018.

Abbott Laboratories (NYSE: ABT) was reiterated as Buy and the price target was raised to $80 from $66 (versus a $63.31 prior close) at Argus. Abbott’s successful launch of the Freestyle Libre blood glucose monitoring system and an MRI-compatible defibrillator are expected to drive top-line growth even if the Alere acquisition will take longer to turn around.

Adobe Systems Inc. (NASDAQ: ADBE) was reiterated as Buy and the price target was raised to $234 from $195 (versus a $198.23 close) at Argus. Along with higher guidance, Argus thinks that Adobe has positioned itself at the center of the digital video content and advertising creation and management.

Alaska Air Group Inc. (NYSE: ALK) was downgraded to Underweight from Neutral with a $67 price target (versus a $65.48 close) at JPMorgan.

Albermarle Corp. (NYSE: ALB) was down another 2.4% on Monday, but its shares were indicated up 1% at $113.00 after UBS raised its rating to Buy from Neutral with a $150 price target.

Alphabet Inc. (NASDAQ: GOOGL) was reiterated as Buy and the price target was raised to $1,375 from $1,200 at B. Riley. Needham also raised its target price to $1,350 from $1,150. Alphabet was also just featured as a company in which the price and analyst action was indicating an overwhelming chance of very strong earnings.

Amazon.com Inc. (NASDAQ: AMZN) was reiterated as Buy and its price target was raised to $1,600 from $1,250 at Needham. Amazon was just featured as a company in which the recent trading and the analyst activity was indicating an overwhelming chance of very strong earnings.

CVS Health Corp. (NYSE: CVS) was up 2% at $83.63 on Monday, but the shares were indicated down almost 7% at $77.82 on news of a nonprofit health care initiative by Bezos, Dimon and Buffett. CVS was raised to Strong Buy from Buy with a $100 price target at Needham.

General Dynamics Corp. (NYSE: GD) was reiterated as Buy and the price target was raised to $250 from $230 (versus a $225.50 close) at Argus. While it has underperformed the broader market, Argus thinks General Dynamics is focused on driving growth through modest sales increases, along with margin improvement and share buybacks.

General Electric Co. (NYSE: GE) was maintained as Hold but the price target was cut to $17 from $18 at Stifel. GE closed up 0.9% at $16.28 on Monday and was indicated down 0.7% at $16.15 on Tuesday, compared with a $19.86 prior consensus analyst target price.

Gilead Sciences Inc. (NASDAQ: GILD) was raised to Buy from Neutral with a $103 price target (versus an $88.80 close) at Citigroup. Gilead shares were up 3.9% at $88.80 on Monday but were indicated down 0.6% at $88.28 on Tuesday.

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