Top Analyst Upgrades and Downgrades: Aetna, Analog Devices, Lowe’s, Merck, Pfizer, Plug Power, Qualcomm, Target and More

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Stocks were indicated to open lower on Thursday morning, though the S&P 500 hit an all-time high earlier in the week. Earnings season is all but over now and was quite strong, with more than 70% of the companies exceeding expectations. Despite the gains in the market, 2018 has been choppy, and investors have seen less reward in buying every dip than they had been used to in recent years. Many investors also are trying to decide how they want their investments positioned ahead of the midterm elections and given international trade concerns.

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 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 on Thursday, August 23, 2018.

ACADIA Pharmaceuticals Inc. (NASDAQ: ACAD) was started as Overweight and assigned a $25 price target (versus a $14.18 prior close) at Cantor Fitzgerald. The stock was indicated up 2.6% at $14.55 on Thursday, in a 52-week trading range of $12.77 to $41.20 and with a prior consensus target price of $31.24.

Aetna Inc. (NYSE: AET) was downgraded to Neutral from Overweight at Cantor Fitzgerald. Shares closed down 0.3% at $197.77 on Wednesday. The 52-week range is $149.69 to $199.95, and the consensus target price is $203.00.

Allergan PLC (NYSE: AGN) was reiterated as Overweight and the price target was raised to $202 from $181 at Morgan Stanley. Wells Fargo reiterated its Outperform rating but lowered its target price to $232 from $240.

Analog Devices Inc. (NASDAQ: ADI) opened lower after earnings but closed up 2% at $97.92 on Wednesday after earnings. Stifel reiterated it as Buy and raised the price target to $110 from $108, and Raymond James reiterated its Outperform rating and raised its target price to $110 from $105.

Apollo Investment Corp. (NASDAQ: AINV) was started with a Sell rating and assigned a $5.00 price target (versus a $5.75 close) at Citigroup.

Ares Capital Corp. (NASDAQ: ARCC) was started with a Buy rating and assigned a target price of $19 (versus a $17.31 close) at Citigroup.

Duluth Holdings Inc. (NASDAQ: DLTH) was downgraded to Neutral from Outperform with a $30 price target (versus a $28.61 close) at Robert W. Baird.

Halozyme Therapeutics Inc. (NASDAQ: HALO) was started as Overweight and assigned a $27 price target (versus a $17.65 close, after a 2.5% gain) at Cantor Fitzgerald. Its market cap is $2.5 billion, and it had a $20.38 consensus target price. Shares were indicated up 2% more at $18.00 on Thursday.

Intra-Cellular Therapies Inc. (NASDAQ: ITCI) was started as Overweight and assigned a $32 price target (versus a $19.97 close) at Cantor Fitzgerald. It has a $1.09 billion market cap and a 52-week range of $10.82 to $25.82. The consensus target price was $30.00.

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