Top Analyst Upgrades and Downgrades: Alibaba, Alphabet, Amazon, Amgen, Apple, Mastercard, Nokia, Shopify, US Steel and More

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Investors have found out this week that the market can sell off when it needs to, and right now the biggest culprit seems to be rising interest rates, as the 10-year Treasury went over 2.83%. Keep in mind is that this bull market is now almost nine years old, and the trend that keeps proving true has been to buy the pullbacks. 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 ideas for investors and traders alike. Some of these analyst reports and research reports cover stocks to buy. Others 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 Friday, February 2, 2018.

Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. (NYSE: BABA) was down 5.9% at $192.22 on Thursday after earnings but shares were indicated up 0.8% at $193.37 on Friday. Multiple analyst target hikes have been seen: Raymond James (Outperform, $240 from $220), Stifel (Buy, $260 from $230), Deutsche Bank (Buy, $218 from $208) and Instinet (Buy, $224 from $219). Jefferies maintained its Buy rating but lowered its Alibaba price target to $235 from $240.

Alphabet Inc. (NASDAQ: GOOGL) was reiterated as Outperform and the price target was raised to $1,340 from $1,180 at Oppenheimer. Stifel downgraded Alphabet to Hold from Buy but kept the $1,150 price target, noting competition from Amazon on search for consumer products hurting Google search long-term. Some firms raised their targets and others lowered them. Targets raised were Barclays to $1,330 from $1,260, Cowen to $1,300 from $1,230, Credit Suisse to $1,400 from $1,350, JPMorgan to $1,330 from $1,200, and Raymond James to $1,300 from $1,200. Target prices were lowered in other firms: Deutsche Bank to $1,375 from $1,400, Morgan Stanley to $1,200 from $1,215.

Amazon.com Inc. (NASDAQ: was down 4.2% at $1,390 ahead of earnings, but the post-earnings reaction took shares back up 5.7% closer to $1,470 after earnings. Amazon was reiterated as Outperform and the price target was raised to $1,650 from $1,450 at Oppenheimer. Other key price target hikes were seen from Merrill Lynch ($1,650 from $1,460), Citi ($1700 from $1,600), Cowen ($1,700 from $1,500), Deutsche Bank ($1,650 from $1,525), Jefferies ($1,750 from $1,450), JPMorgan ($1,650 from $1,390), Morgan Stanley ($1,500 from $1,400), Wedbush ($1,750 from $1,285) and more.

American Electric Power Co. Inc. (NYSE: AEP) was started as Buy with a $76 price target at UBS. AEP closed at $67.84 on Thursday. The 52-week range is $62.69 to $78.07.

Amgen Inc. (NASDAQ: AMGN) Shares were down 0.26% at $185.56 ahead of earnings but were down 2% at $181.80 after earnings. Oppenheimer reiterated its Outperform rating and raised its target to $225 from $205. BMO raised its target to $202 from $192 but has only a Market Perform rating. Credit Suisse has a Neutral rating but raised its target to $194 from $191.

Apple Inc. (NASDAQ: AAPL) was up 0.2%, and its shares initially traded up even after disappointing iPhone sales numbers. Apple shares were last seen indicated down 0.8% at $166.45. Bernstein downgraded its rating to Market Perform from Outperform and the price target was cut to $170 from $195 at Bernstein, and Apple was downgraded to Sector Weight from Overweight at KeyBanc Capital Markets. Barclays also lowered its target to $170 from $174. Other firms raised their Apple target prices: RBC to $205 from $200; BMO to $166 from $162; Morgan Stanley to $203 from $200; Maxim to $210 from $204. Citigroup added Apple to its Focus List.

Boeing Co. (NYSE: BA) saw many firms raise their targets on Thursday, and now Bernstein raised its target to $422 from $402. Boeing closed up 0.7% at $356.94 on Thursday, but shares were indicated down 0.7% at $345.50 on Friday with the broader sell-off.

Chipotle Mexican Grill Inc. (NYSE: CMG) was reiterated as Neutral with a $310 price target (versus $314.72 close, down $10 on the day) at Wedbush Securities. The firm sees same-store sales growth in line with expectations but continues to see 2018 earnings under consensus even after lowering the tax rate. This was just a day after Chipotle was downgraded to Sell from Neutral with a $290 price target at UBS. Chipotle has a 52-week range of $263.00 to $499.00, and it had a consensus analyst price target of $328.04.

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