Top Analyst Upgrades and Downgrades: AEP, CVS, Ecolab, Entergy, Microsoft, Morgan Stanley, PepsiCo, Snap, Yelp and More

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Stocks were indicated to open marginally higher on Thursday ahead of the release of the highly awaited Mueller report. With the major market indexes still up well into the double-digit percentages year to date, both the S&P 500 and Nasdaq are still very close to hitting all-time highs again. Investors should be considering how they want their portfolios positioned for the rest of the year and beyond.

24/7 Wall St. reviews dozens of analyst research reports each day of the week. Our goal is to find new trading and investing ideas for our readers. Some of the daily analyst reports cover stocks to buy, but others cover stocks to sell or to avoid.

Additional commentary and trading data have been added on some of the daily analyst reports. The consensus analyst price targets and other valuation metrics are from the Refinitiv (Thomson Reuters) sell-side research service.

These are the top analyst upgrades, downgrades and initiations seen on Thursday, April 18, 2019.

American Electric Power Co. (NYSE: AEP) was downgraded to Equal Weight From Overweight at Morgan Stanley. Shares of AEP closed up 0.2% at $83.20 on Wednesday and were indicated down by the same amount on Thursday at $83.05. The consensus target price is $83.87.

Cardinal Health Inc. (NYSE: CAH) was started with a Neutral rating at Guggenheim. Shares closed down 4% at $44.88 on Wednesday, in a 52-week range of $42.17 to $66.45 and with a consensus target price of $54.00.

CF Industries Holdings Inc. (NYSE: CF) was downgraded to Underperform from Buy at Merrill Lynch. Shares closed up 1.7% at $44.62 and have a consensus target price of $51.83. The 52-week trading range is $37.02 to $56.51.

Coty Inc. (NYSE: COTY) was downgraded to Hold from Buy at Stifel. Shares closed up 0.6% at $11.25 on Wednesday, with a consensus target price of $11.21 and a 52-week trading range of $5.91 to $17.58.

CVS Health Corp. (NYSE: CVS) was started with a Buy rating at Guggenheim. Raymond James maintained a Strong Buy rating but lowered its target price to $75 from $90. Shares closed down 2.5% at $52.54 on Wednesday and were indicated up 0.5% at $52.80 on Thursday.

Ecolab Inc. (NYSE: ECL) was raised to Buy from Neutral and the target was raised to $210 from $170 (versus a $182.96 prior close) at Nomura/Instinet. UBS took the other view, downgrading Ecolab to Neutral from Buy but still raising its target price to $186 from $180. The consensus target price is $171.69.

Entergy Corp. (NYSE: ETR) was raised to Overweight from Equal Weight at Morgan Stanley. Shares closed down 0.5% at $92.90 on Wednesday, and the consensus target price is $100.19. The 52-week trading range is $75.45 to $96.87.

FMC Corp. (NYSE: FMC) was downgraded to Sector Perform from Outperform at RBC Capital Markets. The stock was indicated down 0.5% at $80.30 on Thursday, and it has a 52-week range of $60.16 to $81.80. The consensus target price is $94.68.

Frontdoor Inc. (NASDAQ: FTDR) was started with a Neutral rating and assigned a $40 price target (versus a $34.23 close) at Credit Suisse.