Top Analyst Upgrades and Downgrades: Aflac, Apple, Chipotle, Coca-Cola, Dell, Dish, Gilead, McDonald’s, Starbucks and More

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Stocks were indicated to have a slightly positive open on Monday, but the gains were so small that the outcome of the day seemed far from certain. A mixed earnings season is creating some very big wins or bad misses on individual stock prices, and the major equity indexes are effectively at all-time highs. With the Federal Reserve about to cut interest rates, this is a time when investors have many reasons to remain cautious but also should be considering how they want their assets positioned for the rest 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 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 Refinitiv (Thomson Reuters) sell-side research service.

These were the top analyst upgrades, downgrades and initiations seen on Monday, July 29, 2019.

Aflac Inc. (NYSE: AFL) was downgraded to Outperform from Strong Buy with a $62 target price at Raymond James.

Anheuser-Busch InBev S.A./NV (NYSE: BUD) was raised to Buy from Neutral at Merrill Lynch, with the firm calling it a stock in a continually improving macro-environment and one that offers investors growth at a reasonable valuation.

Apple Inc. (NASDAQ: AAPL) was reiterated as Buy and the price target was raised to $235 from $225 at UBS. Shares closed at $207.74, in a 52-week range of $142.00 to $233.47. The consensus target price is $213.53.

Applied Optoelectronics Inc. (NASDAQ: AAOI) was started with a Neutral rating and assigned an $11 price target at JPMorgan.

Chipotle Mexican Grill Inc. (NYSE: CMG) was started with a Buy rating and assigned a $1,000 target price at Goldman Sachs.

Coca-Cola Co. (NYSE: KO) was started with a Buy rating at Atlantic Equities. Shares closed at $54.17, in a 52-week range of $44.25 to $54.82. The consensus target price is $56.70.

Dell Technologies Inc. (NYSE: DELL) was started with an Outperform rating and assigned a $68 target price at Wells Fargo.

Dish Network Corp. (NASDAQ: DISH) was downgraded to Underweight from Equal Weight with a $31 price target at Barclays.

Domino’s Pizza Inc. (NYSE: DPZ) was started with a Sell rating at Deutsche Bank based on competition from third-party delivery aggregators increasing the competitive pressure over the coming years. Goldman Sachs started the stock with a Neutral rating.

Dow Inc. (NYSE: DOW) was downgraded to Neutral from Positive at Susquehanna, and Citigroup downgraded it to Neutral from Buy. Dow shares closed down 3.3% at $49.11 on Friday and were indicated down around $48.50 on Monday.

Eastman Chemical Co. (NYSE: EMN) was downgraded to Neutral from Overweight at JPMorgan.

Ellington Residential Mortgage REIT (NYSE: EARN) was raised to Market Outperform from Market Perform with a $12.50 price target at JMP Securities.

Gilead Sciences Inc. (NASDAQ: GILD) was raised to Top Pick status with an Outperform rating at RBC Capital Markets.