Top Analyst Upgrades and Downgrades: Alphabet, Amex, Apple, Biogen, eBay, Ford, Microsoft, PPG, Roku, United Rentals, Valero and More

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Stocks were indicated higher on Friday after another big drop on Thursday. That said, the gains are a fraction of what was lost and the mood of investors is to be more concerned rather than more bullish at this time. Investors have seen lower upside after buying immediately after the big market pullbacks in 2018 than in prior years. Now investors have to be considering how to position their investments for the rest of the year 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 of them cover stocks to sell or 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 19, 2018.

Alphabet Inc. (NASDAQ: GOOGL) was reiterated as Outperform and the price target was raised to $1,500 from $1,375 at Credit Suisse. Alphabet closed down 2.6% at $1,097.91 a share on Thursday and was indicated up about 1% at $1,108.75 on Friday. Its consensus target price was $1,383.82 ahead of the call, and it has a 52-week trading range of $977.08 to $1,291.44.

American Eagle Outfitters Inc. (NYSE: AEO) was raised to Buy from Neutral at Citigroup.

American Express Co. (NYSE: AXP) was down 1.4% at $102.84 ahead of earnings and was indicated up 1.4% at $104.25 afterward. Nomura reiterated it as Buy and raised the price target to $130 from $128. Morgan Stanley and Barclays also both raised their target prices to $115. Amex had a consensus target price of $115.12, and its 52-week trading range is $87.54 to $111.77.

Apple Inc. (NASDAQ: AAPL) was started as Outperform with a $310 price target (versus a $221.19 prior close) at Wedbush Securities, noting that the focus on the services area will win while the iPhone cycle is humming. The firm also added Apple to its Best Ideas List.

Bank of New York Mellon Corp. (NYSE: BK) was downgraded to Underperform from Market Perform and the price target was cut to $65 from $68 at Keefe Bruyette & Woods.

Biogen Inc. (NASDAQ: BIIB) was downgraded to Market Perform from Outperform and the price target was cut to $341 from $373 at Bernstein, which noted that Biogen is unlikely to outperform before 2020 based on the current plans and views on its multiple sclerosis drugs and muscle disease treatments.

eBay Inc. (NASDAQ: EBAY) was downgraded to Hold from Buy and the price target was cut to $35 from $43 at Stifel, which noted a gross market value from PayPal disclosure. eBay shares were indicated down 6% at $29.65 on Friday, after closing down 1.5% at $31.55 on Thursday.

E*Trade Financial Corp. (NASDAQ: ETFC) has seen multiple target cuts: Barclays to $60 from $65, Raymond James to $64 from $70 and Jefferies to $60 from $65. Shares closed down 3.25% at $48.92 on Thursday, and the prior consensus target price was $65.53.

Ford Motor Co. (NYSE: F) was downgraded to Equal Weight from Overweight and the price target was cut to $10 from $14 at Morgan Stanley. The firm noted that a lack of restructuring progress is followed by a lack of confidence from the investing community and capital markets. JPMorgan also cut it target to $13 from $14 in a rival call.

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