Investors have found out this week that the market can sell off if it needs to, but this bull market is now almost nine years old and the trend that keeps winning is to buy the pullbacks. In January alone, the Dow Jones Industrial Average and the S&P 500 rose roughly 5.6% each, and the Nasdaq 100 rose 8.7%. Still, stocks were indicated to open lower on Thursday for the first trading day of February. Investors are still looking at how they should position their portfolios for this year and beyond into rising interest rates, tax reform, accelerated earnings and stronger GDP growth.
24/7 Wall St. reviews dozens of analyst research reports each day of the week. The goal is to find new for investors and traders alike. Some of these analyst reports and research reports cover stocks to buy. Others analyst reports cover stocks to sell or stocks 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 Thursday, February 1, 2018.
Advanced Micro Devices Inc. (NASDAQ: AMD) closed up 6.7% at $13.74 on Wednesday after its earnings report. AMD was raised to Buy from Hold at Argus, and the firm assigned an $18 price target. Argus thinks AMD has returned to sustainable and consistent profitability and growth and sees its profit margins increasing ahead toward the industry norm.
Caterpillar Inc. (NYSE: CAT) was reiterated as Buy and the price target was raised to $185 from $155 at Argus. Caterpillar closed at $162.78 on Wednesday, and it has a 52-week range of $90.34 to $173.24 and a consensus analyst price target of $180.57.
Check Point Software Technologies Ltd. (NASDAQ: CHKP) was downgraded to Market Perform from Outperform with a $117 price target (versus a $103.41 prior close) at Wells Fargo. Check Point was indicated down almost 1% on Thursday.
Chipotle Mexican Grill Inc. (NYSE: CMG) was downgraded to Sell from Neutral with a $290 price target (versus a $324.76 close) at UBS. Oppenheimer maintained its Perform rating. Chipotle has a 52-week range of $263.00 to $499.00, and it had a consensus price target of $328.04.
eBay Inc. (NASDAQ: EBAY) was last seen up 10% at $44.65 after earnings. eBay was maintained as Neutral with a $46 price target at Wedbush Securities. eBay was maintained as Hold at Stifel but the firm raised its target to $41 from $37. RBC Capital Markets raised its rating to Outperform from Sector Perform, and it assigned a $51 price target.
Emerson Electric Co. (NYSE: EMR) was downgraded to Market Perform from Outperform at JMP Securities. Emerson has a 52-week range of $56.77 to $74.45 and a consensus price target of $71.89.
Express Scripts Holding Co. (NASDAQ: ESRX) was downgraded to Underperform from Market Perform at Bernstein. Express Scripts was indicated down 2.1% at $77.50 on Thursday, and it has a 52-week range of $55.80 to $83.49 and a consensus price target of $81.88.
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