Top Analyst Upgrades and Downgrades: Carbonite, Cleveland-Cliffs, Conoco, Costco, EA, Eli Lilly, HP, PepsiCo, Roku and More

Stocks were looking for direction after a softer nonfarm payrolls number was met by the lowest unemployment rate in decades. The 10-year Treasury yield is now up to 3.22% and the 30-year Treasury yield is up at 3.38%, and now the 3% level that previously had been resistance may be support.

The U.S. indexes are effectively at all-time highs, even after Thursday’s sharp sell-off and surge in volatility, but investors have seen lower upside from buying on market pullbacks than in prior years. Now the investing community has to consider how to position their investments for the rest of 2018 and into 2019.

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 cover stocks to buy, but some 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 Friday, October 5, 2018.

Acorda Therapeutics Inc. (NASDAQ: ACOR) was maintained as Hold but the price target was cut to $19 from $25 (versus an $18.66 prior close) at Stifel. The stock had a consensus target price of $22.22 ahead of this call.

Activision Blizzard Inc. (NASDAQ: ATVI) was started with a Hold rating and assigned an $80 price target (versus an $80.36 close) at Berenberg.

Canadian Pacific Railway Ltd. (NYSE: CP) was up 2.5% at $216.86 on Thursday, and it sees rail shipment prices rising 3% to 4% over the next 24 months. Citigroup reiterated it as Buy and raised the price target to $260 from $242. Also, BMO Capital Markets reiterated it as Outperform and raised the price target to $305 from $295.

Carbonite Inc. (NASDAQ: CARB) was started with an Outperform rating and assigned a $42 price target (versus a $33.95 close, after a 2.2% drop) at RBC Capital Markets.

Cleveland-Cliffs Inc. (NYSE: CLF) was reiterated as Buy and the price target was raised to $15 from $12 (versus a $12.29 close, after a 2.4% gain) at Citigroup.

Costco Wholesale Corp. (NASDAQ: COST) was reiterated as Buy at Citigroup and the price target was raised to $257 from $250 at Citigroup. BMO Capital Markets maintained its Outperform rating but cut the price target to $258 from $260. Costco shares closed down 0.6% at $231.68 on Thursday and were indicated down 2.7% at $225.33 on Friday after disclosing material weakness in its internal financial controls even as its profits surge.

ConocoPhillips (NYSE: COP) was reiterated as Buy and the price target was raised to $90 from $80 (versus a $78.28 close) at Citigroup. ConocoPhillips had a consensus target price of $81.95 ahead of the call, and the 52-week trading range is $48.70 to $80.24.

Constellation Brands Inc. (NYSE: STZ) was reiterated as Outperform and the target price was raised to $275 from $270 (versus $a 222.10 close, after a 5.4% gain) at Wells Fargo.

Electronic Arts Inc. (NASDAQ: EA) was started with a Buy rating and the target price was set at $145 (versus a $114.01 close) at Berenberg.

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