Top Analyst Upgrades and Downgrades: Albermarle, Alcoa, Apple, BofA, Beyond Meat, Citigroup, 3M, Nike, Slack, Square, Wells Fargo and More

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Stocks were indicated to open lower on Tuesday ahead of Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell’s speech after Monday’s small market sell-off. The S&P 500, Dow Jones industrials and Nasdaq are all still very close to all-time highs, and the bull market is well over 10 years old. Investors have to be giving consideration into exactly how they want their portfolios and assets positioned for the second half of 2019 and beyond.

24/7 Wall St. reviews dozens of analyst research reports each day of the week. Our goal is to find new ideas for traders and long-term investors alike. Some of the daily analyst calls cover stocks to buy. Other calls cover stocks to sell or to avoid.

We have provided these calls in a quick-hit summary for easy reading, and additional comments and trading data have been added on some of the calls. 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 on Tuesday, July 9, 2019.

Albemarle Corp. (NYSE: ALB) was maintained as Overweight but the target price was lowered to $94 from $100 at KeyBanc Capital Markets.

Alcoa Corp. (NYSE: AA) was downgraded to Neutral from Outperform and the price target was lowered to $25 from $34 at Macquarie. Shares closed down 3.6% at $22.30, in a 52-week range of $20.82 to $48.87. The consensus target price is $34.17.

AllianceBernstein Holding L.P. (NYSE: AB) was reiterated as Buy and the price target was raised to $37 from $36 at Citigroup.

Apple Inc. (NASDAQ: AAPL) was down on Monday after Rosenblatt downgraded it to Sell on iPhone concerns, but on Tuesday JPMorgan raised its target to $239 from $233 based on a stronger iPhone replacement cycle expected. The firm sees 195 million units shipped in 2020, versus a prior 185 million forecast, and the earnings estimate was raised to $13.00 from $12.85 per share. Shares closed down 2.1% at $200.02, in a 52-week range of $142.00 to $233.47. The consensus target price is $212.03.

Bank of America Corp. (NYSE: BAC) was maintained as Overweight but the target price was lowered to $29.50 from $30.00 at JPMorgan.

Beyond Meat Inc. (NASDAQ: BYND) was maintained with a Neutral rating at Credit Suisse, but the firm raised its target price to $125 from $70 in the call.

Chewy Inc. (NYSE: CHWY) was started as Equal Weight with a $33 price target at Morgan Stanley. Chewy was initiated with a Market Perform rating at Raymond James, a Sector Perform rating at RBC Capital Markets, a Hold rating at Jefferies, an Equal Weight at Barclays and a Neutral rating at Nomura/Instinet. JPMorgan started it as Overweight with a $42 target, Merrill Lynch started it with a Buy rating and a $40 price objective, and UBS started it with a Buy rating and $42 target price. And Wells Fargo started Chewy as Outperform with a $40 target price.

Citigroup Inc. (NYSE: C) was reiterated as Overweight and the target price was raised to $77 from $75 at JPMorgan. Shares closed down 0.4% at $71.13, in a 52-week range of $48.42 to $75.24. The consensus target price is $80.32.

ESCO Technologies Inc. (NYSE: ESE) was started with an Equal Weight rating at Stephens.

Hilton Worldwide Holdings Inc. (NYSE: HLT) was downgraded to Neutral from Overweight with a $102 target price at JPMorgan.

3M Co. (NYSE: MMM) was downgraded to Sector Perform from Outperform and the price target was lowered to $176 from $207 at RBC Capital Markets. Shares closed down 1.6% at $169.19, in a 52-week range of $159.32 to $219.75. The consensus target price is $181.38.