Stocks were indicated to open lower on Wednesday, the day that marks the official longest bull market of recent decades. Earnings season is almost complete, and more than 70% of the companies exceeded expectations. Despite the gains, 2018 has been choppy and investors have been less rewarded for buying every dip than they had been in recent years. Many investors also are trying to decide how they want their investments positioned ahead of the midterm elections and given the international trade concerns.
24/7 Wall St. reviews dozens of analyst research reports each day of the week. Our goal is to find new investing and trading ideas for our readers. Some of the daily analyst reports cover stocks to buy, and some reports cover stocks to sell or to avoid.
Additional commentary has been added on most of the daily analyst reports, along with trading history. The consensus analyst price targets and other valuation metrics are from the Thomson Reuters sell-side research service.
These are the top analyst upgrades, downgrades and initiations seen from Wednesday, August 22, 2018.
AT&T Inc. (NYSE: T) was downgraded to Market Perform from Outperform at Wells Fargo, and the price target was cut to $35 from $40. Shares closed up 0.9% at $33.40 on Tuesday and were indicated down 0.6% at $33.19 on Wednesday. AT&T has a 52-week trading range of $30.13 to $39.80 and had a consensus target price of $35.91.
Cardiovascular Systems Inc. (NASDAQ: CSII) was started with a Buy rating and assigned a $45 price target (versus a $38.03 prior close) at Stifel.
CenturyLink Inc. (NYSE: CTL) was downgraded to Sell from Neutral with a $19 price target (versus a $23.98 close) at MoffattNathanson. The stock was up 0.5% at $23.98 on Tuesday and was indicated down 1.7% at $23.57 on Wednesday. Its consensus target price was $21.28, and it has a 52-week range of $13.16 to $24.20.
Itron Inc. (NASDAQ: ITRI) was raised to Buy from Hold with a $72 price target (versus a $64.40 close) at Argus.
Finisar Inc. (NASDAQ: FNSR) was downgraded to Market Perform from Outperform at Raymond James.
Laboratory Corp. of America Holdings (NYSE: LH) was reiterated as Buy with a target price of $202 (versus a $177.58 close) at Argus.
Landstar Systems Inc. (NASDAQ: LSTR) was raised to Outperform from Market Perform with a $133 price target (versus a $115.65 close) at Wells Fargo.
MercadoLibre Inc. (NASDAQ: MELI) was raised to Buy from Hold with a $380 price target (versus a $328.45 close) at Stifel. The stock was indicated up 1.6% at $333.80 on Wednesday morning.
Myriad Genetics Inc. (NASDAQ: MYGN) was reiterated as Overweight and the price target was raised to $49 from $47 at Morgan Stanley. Myriad Genetics shares were indicated up around $43.50 for the open on Wednesday, but the shares continued to strengthen on the heels of a stronger than expected earnings report. BofA Merrill Lynch maintained an Underperform rating but raised its price objective to $34 from $31. Barclays also maintained its Equal Weight rating while raising its target to $38 from $35.
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