Top Analyst Upgrades and Downgrades: CenturyLink, Deere, Ecolab, E*Trade, Merck, Southwest Air, S&P, Transocean, Walmart and More

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Stocks were indicated to open marginally lower on Wednesday, but the Dow Jones industrials had risen about 3,000 points from the lows of early January. Now investors need to be considering how they want their assets positioned for 2019 and beyond.

24/7 Wall St. reviews dozens of analyst research reports each day of the week in an effort 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 were the top analyst upgrades, downgrades and initiations seen on Wednesday, February 20, 2019:

Allegion PLC (NYSE: ALLE) was down almost 4% at $88.02 on Tuesday and was indicated down another 1.3% at $86.90 on Wednesday. Goldman Sachs downgraded the stock to Neutral from Buy. Credit Suisse maintained its Outperform rating but cut its target to $96 from $98.

American Axle & Manufacturing Holdings Inc. (NYSE: AXL) was raised to Buy from Neutral at Merrill Lynch. Shares closed most recently at $16.61, in a 52-week range of $10.13 to $19.34. The consensus price target is $17.10.

Charles Schwab Corp. (NYSE: SCHW) was downgraded to Sell from Neutral at UBS. Shares closed at $47.06, in a 52-week range of $37.83 to $60.22. The stock has a consensus price target of $51.75.

CenturyLink Inc. (NYSE: CTL) was downgraded to Sector Perform from Outperform at RBC Capital Markets. Shares closed at $14.10, in a 52-week range of $12.74 to $24.20. The consensus price target is $15.00.

Deere & Co. (NYSE: DE) was reiterated as Buy and the price target was raised to $175 (versus a $157.26 prior close) at Argus. Shares closed at $48.65, in a 52-week range of $40.41 to $66.46. The consensus price target is $58.06.

Ecolab Inc. (NYSE: ECL) was downgraded to Neutral from Overweight, but the target price was bumped up to $167 from $157 (versus a $167.31 close), at JPMorgan.

E*Trade Financial Corp. (NASDAQ: ETFC) was downgraded to Neutral from Buy at UBS. Shares closed at $48.65, in a 52-week range of $40.41 to $66.46. The consensus price target is $58.06.

Diamond Offshore Drilling Inc. (NYSE: DO) was raised to Overweight from Underweight at Barclays. Shares closed at $10.29, in a 52-week range of $8.78 to $21.92. The consensus price target is $12.47.

Grubhub Inc. (NYSE: GRUB) was maintained as Buy but the target price was lowered to $100 at Argus, with the firm noting that it still saw a solid fourth quarter. Shares closed at $83.54, in a 52-week range of $66.62 to $149.35. The stock has a consensus analyst target of $104.50.

Instructure Inc. (NYSE: INST) was downgraded to Equal Weight from Overweight at Morgan Stanley. Shares closed at $42.58, in a 52-week range of $29.48 to $49.17. The consensus price target is $46.82.

Merck & Co. Inc. (NYSE: MRK) was reiterated as Buy and the target price was raised to $95 (versus a $79.24 close) at Argus. It has a consensus target price of $82.81.