Top Analyst Upgrades and Downgrades: Alkermes, Alphabet, Apple, Conoco, FireEye, Lyft, McDonald’s, RBS, Seagate, Shopify and More

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Stocks were indicated to open higher on the first day of trading in May, with the Dow Jones industrial average’s 90-point gain being mostly driven by Apple’s post-earnings surge. The major market indexes are up strong year to date, with gains of about 14% for the Dow and up over 17% for the S&P 500. The S&P 500 and Nasdaq have even hit new all-time highs. The question for investors now is what to look forward to rather than looking at the past. Every investor 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 other reports 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 Wednesday, May 1, 2019.

Before getting into the analyst calls of the day, note that there is a reason that the “Sell in May and Go Away!” theme could be louder in 2019.

Alkermes PLC (NASDAQ: ALKS) was downgraded to Neutral from Buy and the price target was cut to $33 from $62 (versus a $30.32 prior close) at Citigroup. Shares were indicated down 1.8% at $29.76 on Wednesday after the call.

Alphabet Inc. (NASDAQ: GOOGL) was down 7.5% at $1,198.96 after earnings on Tuesday and was indicated marginally lower on Wednesday. Argus reiterated Alphabet as Buy with a $1,450 price target, noting that the recent weakness offers a buying opportunity.

Apple Inc. (NASDAQ: AAPL) closed down 1.9% at $200.67 ahead of earnings on Tuesday, but after a beat-and-raise quarter it was last seen up 5.5% at $211.50 in Wednesday’s early trading. Wedbush Securities reiterated the stock as Outperform with a $235 price target, with the firm talking up China and a healthy upcoming product cycle. Canaccord Genuity reiterated its Buy rating and raised the target price to $245 from $230. Morgan Stanley reiterated its Overweight rating and raised its target to $240 from $235. Credit Suisse remained with a Neutral rating and $209 price target. Apple’s consensus target price was $202.77 ahead of earnings.

ConocoPhillips (NYSE: COP) was raised to Outperform from Neutral at Credit Suisse, but the firm kept its target static at $75. The call also downplayed the thought that the company would make a large acquisition and indicated the stock is trading at a large discount to peers.

Corning Inc. (NYSE: GLW) was raised to Buy from Neutral at Merrill Lynch. Shares closed down 5.5% at $31.85 on Tuesday with earnings, but they were indicated up 2% at $32.50 on Wednesday. The consensus target price is $36.83.

Cummins Inc. (NYSE: CMI) was downgraded to Hold from Buy at Loop Capital.

Ecolab Inc. (NYSE: ECL) was reiterated as Buy and the price target was raised to $200 from $180 (versus a $184.08 close) at Argus, with the independent research firm calling it a consistent industrial performer after a dividend hike.

Encana Corp. (NYSE: ECA) was downgraded to Market Perform from Outperform at Bernstein.

FireEye Inc. (NASDAQ: FEYE) was maintained as Neutral with an $18 price target at Wedbush, with the firm noting that billings grew but were not recurring and that a transition here is a long process. Shares closed up 1.3% at $16.02 on Tuesday ahead of earnings, and they were indicated down 3.3% at $15.50 after the report.