Top Analyst Upgrades and Downgrades: Amex, Dick’s, Dominion Energy, Grubhub, Intel, McDonald’s, Microsoft, Nvidia, Total and More

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Stocks were looking to open marginally lower on Thursday after a 600-point rally of the Dow Jones industrials on Wednesday. Federal Reserve Chair Powell dialing down his hawkish tone and fessing up to a third Fed mandate gave huge support for the markets. While investors have seen numerous waves of selling in 2018, up until this week they had seen less upside from buying immediately after the big market sell-offs than in prior years. Now investors have to consider how they want their investments and assets positioned for 2019.

24/7 Wall St. reviews dozens of analyst research reports each day of the week. Our goal is to find new ideas for investors and traders alike. Some of these analyst reports cover stocks to buy, while others 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, November 29, 2018.

American Express Co. (NYSE: AXP) was downgraded to Neutral from Buy at Buckingham Research, and the firm maintained its $112 price target. This was a valuation downgrade and the 2.5% gain to $112.89 on Wednesday was being followed with almost a 1% drop to $111.90 on Thursday. American Express has a 52-week range of $87.54 to $113.18, and its consensus target price is $116.58.

Dick’s Sporting Goods Inc. (NYSE: DKS) was downgraded to Neutral from Overweight and the target price was lowered to $41 from $46 (versus a $37.26 prior close) at JPMorgan.

Dominion Energy Inc. (NYSE: D) was raised to Buy from Neutral and the price target was raised to $84 from $75 (versus a $73.32 close) at UBS. Dominion Energy had a consensus target price of $74.20, and its 52-week range is $61.53 to $85.30.

Grubhub Inc. (NASDAQ: GRUB) was reiterated as Outperform with a $150 price target (versus a $76.80 close) at Wedbush Securities. The firm noted that with the stock down about 45% since its all-time high in September it took a closer look at its key growth drivers and catalysts and sees an increased confidence that Grubhub is well positioned in a long-term secular growth industry.

Intel Corp. (NASDAQ: INTC) was downgraded to Hold from Buy with a $50 target price at DZ Bank. Intel closed up 1.6% at $48.86 on Wednesday, in a 52-week range of $42.04 to $57.60 and with a consensus target price of $54.91.

McDonald’s Corp. (NYSE: MCD) was raised to Overweight from Equal Weight and the target price was raised to $210 from $173 at Morgan Stanley. McDonald’s closed up 1.7% at $187.85 on Wednesday, with a consensus target price of $192.75 and a 52-week trading range of $146.84 to $188.90.

Microsoft Corp. (NASDAQ: MSFT) was reiterated as Outperform with a $140 price target (versus a $107.14 close) at Wedbush. The firm believes that Microsoft remains in an enviable position heading into 2019 with strong cloud operations and is firing on all cylinders around its Office 365 and Azure strategic vision. The cloud move is considered to be a secular shift that is significantly benefiting Microsoft and should continue its momentum heading into the next 12 to 18 months.

Nvidia Corp. (NASDAQ: NVDA) was reiterated as Outperform with a $250 price target at Bernstein. The firm defended recent GPU trends similar to another analyst call the prior day, noting that it still has $8 in earnings per share power for the coming years as a base and could see earnings per share power into the teens under more bullish assumptions.

Total S.A. (NYSE: TOT) was raised to Neutral from Underweight at JPMorgan. The American depositary shares closed up 2.1% at $55.43 on Wednesday, in a 52-week range of $53.37 to $65.69 and with a consensus target price of $71.40.

Other key analyst calls from Thursday were seen in the following companies: