Top Analyst Upgrades and Downgrades: Dollar General, KLA-Tencor, Micron Technology, Nike, Red Hat and More

The futures traded higher Friday morning, although it appears that the worries over trade and tariffs are still in place. This comes despite the fact that car makers in Europe have told the European Union that they support dropping import tariffs on American vehicles, which would prove to be a huge win for the administration and President Trump. We are nearing the end of the quarter, so some of the selling this week could be managers taking profits.

Many investors are now reconsidering what the nine-year bull market may bring for the rest of 2018 and beyond. It has become very clear that the multiyear trend of buying every pullback is now more vulnerable to sellers, volatility and each major news headline. Many investors are finding it harder to decide how they want their assets positioned for the longer term.

24/7 Wall St. reviews dozens of analyst research reports each day of the week to find new investing and trading ideas for our readers. Some of the top analyst reports cover stocks to buy. Other analyst calls cover stocks to sell or to avoid.

Additional color has been added on some of these daily analyst calls. The consensus analyst price target data are from the Thomson Reuters sell-side research service.

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

Booking Holdings Inc. (NASDAQ: BKNG) was downgraded to Hold from Buy at Benchmark Company. Shares of the company formerly called Priceline were lowered despite it remaining the leader in the traditional hotel space and trends in the underlying online travel market remaining generally favorable. The 52-week trading range is $1,714.07 to $2,288.99. The Wall Street consensus price target is $2,278.781. The stock closed trading Thursday at $2,122.49.

DSW Inc. (NYSE: DSW) was started with a Buy rating and a $29 price target at Needham. That compares with a Wall Street target of $24.33. The analysts believe DSW is on strong footing with positive comps that they anticipate will continue. The analysts see growth coming from the addition of new customers and existing ones on higher conversion. The stock closed Thursday at $25.99 a share.

Dollar General Corp. (NYSE: DG) was raised to Strong Buy from Outperform at Raymond James. The stock has traded in a 52-week range of $68.69 to $105.82. The consensus price target is $104.75, and the shares closed Thursday at $98.68.

KLA-Tencor Corp. (NASDAQ: KLAC) was downgraded to Hold from Buy at Needham. The 52-week trading range for the semiconductor capital equipment leader is $87.93 to $123.96, and the consensus price target is set at $133.36. The stock ended trading on Thursday at $110.31.

Micron Technology Inc. (NASDAQ: MU) was started with a Buy rating and an $80 price target at Benchmark Company. This compares to the consensus target of $80.14. The firm believes Micron has progressed from a “cash burn” to a “cash return” story in only two years and expects the stock to remain a cyclical growth name, generating increasing profits and cash flow on each respective high and low of the memory cycle. The shares closed Thursday at $59.44.

NICE Ltd. (NASDAQ: NICE) was started with a Neutral rating and a $100 price target at D.A. Davidson. That compares with the consensus target of $105.44. The stock closed trading on Thursday at $108.39.

Nike Inc. (NYSE: NKE) was downgraded to Neutral from Buy at Buckingham Research. The 52-week trading range for the athletic apparel giant is $50.35 to $75.91. The consensus price target is set at $73.80, and shares ended trading Thursday at $73.94.

Red Hat Inc. (NYSE: RHT) was downgraded from Neutral to Buy at BTIG Research. The 52-week range is $94.47 to $177.70. The consensus price target is $171.77 but should be coming down fast as the company missed earnings estimates badly. The stock closed on Thursday at $165.73, but shares traded down well over 20% in premarket action.

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