Top Analyst Upgrades and Downgrades: American Express, Cisco, First Solar, Goldman Sachs, Nasdaq, Shopify, SunPower, Workday and More

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Monday’s early equity market indications were for a higher open with the Dow Jones industrial average indicated over 250 points higher and the S&P 500 indicated up more than 25 points. These are on top of the big bounce off of negative territory on Friday, but investors remain nervous about how fast and violent the selling was. Even if it had been two years since there was even a 5% correction, the market went from being up 8% this year to being down 2% in only about two weeks. While there is no strategy that can be counted on forever, the trend for more than five years has been for investors to buy the pullbacks.

Investors are now reconsidering how they should position their portfolios for 2018 and beyond as they brace for higher wages, higher interest rates and even higher inflation concerns. That is being countered by tax reform, accelerated corporate earnings and stronger GDP growth, and the sell-off has so far not been anywhere strong enough that it has changed expectations for those stronger fundamentals.

24/7 Wall St. reviews dozens of analyst research reports each day of the week to find new 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 the daily analyst reports. The consensus analyst price targets 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 Monday, February 12, 2018.

American Express Co. (NYSE: AXP) was raised to Buy with a $108 price target at Instinet. The shares closed up 3.8% at $91.72 on Friday. The firm believes that a negative revision risk is low and that the downside risks are now adequately discounted into the shares.

Arrow Electronics Inc. (NYSE: ARW) was raised to Strong Buy from Outperform at Raymond James. The stock closed down 0.3% at $76.09 on Friday. It has a 52-week trading range of $69.67 to $87.26 and a consensus analyst target price of $88.13.

Cara Therapeutics Inc. (NASDAQ: CARA) was raised to Buy with a $27 fair value estimate (versus a $12.30 prior closing price) at Janney. The firm noted a more than 50% drop in the share price in 2017, and it sees a major catalyst in CR845 on the horizon as being more likely to reach the market first for the treatment of chronic kidney disease-associated pruritus.

Cisco Systems Inc. (NASDAQ: CSCO) was raised to Buy from Neutral with a $46 price target (versus a $39.53 close) at Instinet. Cisco was indicated up 2.5% at $40.50 on Monday, in a 52-week range of $30.36 to $42.98 and with a consensus analyst target of $41.86.

EQT Corp. (NYSE: EQT) was raised to Outperform from Sector Perform with a $77 price target (versus a $45.73 close) at RBC Capital Markets.

First Solar Inc. (NASDAQ: FSLR) was started as Underperform and assigned a $55 price target (versus a $61.22 close) at Credit Suisse. First Solar has a 52-week range of $25.56 to $76.61.

Generac Holdings Inc. (NYSE: GNRC) was maintained as Buy and with a $58 price objective (versus a $49.84 close) at Merrill Lynch. This is after channel checks showed strong demand remaining ahead of earnings.

Goldman Sachs Group Inc. (NYSE: GS) was reiterated as Buy with a $300 price objective (versus a $249.30 close) at Merrill Lynch. The recent sell-off brought a buying opportunity, according to the call, and a chance to increase its return on equity to 16% from 12%.

GrubHub Inc. (NYSE: GRUB) was started with a Buy rating and assigned a $94 price target (versus an $85.54 close) at Guggenheim.

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