Friday’s Top Analyst Upgrades and Downgrades: Walmart, Nvidia, Amgen, Applied Materials, Alibaba, Intel, Merck and More

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This has been a rough week for the broad markets, with the S&P 500 and Dow Jones industrial average each down about 3% on last look. What’s shocking is that this loss came more or less all in one day. The inversion of portions of the Treasury bond yield curve this week could be considered bearish if it would have been sustained over time, but some are already calling for a recession. Pressures from China have been alleviated for now, but as the December deadline closes in a market downturn seems imminent. Earnings season is also coming to a close and with that analysts are wrapping up their busy season.

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 for Friday, August 16, 2019.

Applied Materials Inc. (NASDAQ: AMAT) was downgraded to Hold by Craig Hallum. Deutsche Bank reiterated a Hold rating with a $47 price target, and KeyCorp reiterated a Buy rating with a $54 price target.

Amgen Inc. (NASDAQ: AMGN) was reiterated as Outperform with a $225 price target at Credit Suisse.

Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. (NYSE: BABA) was reiterated as Overweight with a $245 price target at KeyBanc.

BlackBerry Ltd. (NYSE: BB) was initiated at Macquarie with a Neutral rating

BHP Group Ltd. (NYSE: BHP) was downgraded to Underperform at Merrill Lynch.

Cerner Corp. (NASDAQ: CERN) was reiterated as Overweight at KeyBanc, which has an $82 price target.

DocuSign Inc. (NASDAQ: DOCU) was initiated with a Buy rating and a $52 price target at DA Davidson.

Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. (NASDAQ: GT) was initiated as Outperform with a $10 price target at Exane BNP Paribas.

Intel Corp. (NASDAQ: INTC) was upgraded to Market Perform from Underperform at Northland Securities.

Kratos Defense & Security Solutions Inc. (NASDAQ: KTOS) was upgraded to Buy from Neutral at Goldman Sachs.

Southwest Airlines Co. (NYSE: LUV) was upgraded to Outperform from Market Perform by Wolfe Research.

Merck & Co. Inc. (NYSE: MRK) was initiated as Outperform with a $103 price target by SVB Leerink.

Nvidia Corp. (NASDAQ: NVDA) was reiterated with an Equal Weight rating and a $180 price target at Morgan Stanley.

Tapestry Inc. (NYSE: TPR) was reiterated at CIBC with a Market Perform rating. MKM Partners reiterated a Neutral rating, Cowen reiterated a Buy rating and lowered its price target to $22 from $34, and Needham reiterated a Buy rating and lowered its price target to $35 from $42. Also, Oppenheimer downgraded it to Market Perform from Outperform, while KeyCorp reiterated an Overweight rating and lowered its price target to $30 from $42 and Piper Jaffray downgraded it to Neutral from Overweight and lowered its price target to $23 from $40.

Whiting Petroleum Corp. (NYSE: WLL) was downgraded at Wells Fargo, to a Market Perform rating with an $11 price target.

Walmart Inc. (NYSE: WMT) was reiterated with an Outperform rating Raymond James, which raised its price target to $120 from $110. KeyCorp reiterated an Overweight rating and raised its price target to $128 from $125. BMO Capital Markets reiterated an Outperform rating with a $125 price target. Telsey Advisory Group reiterated an Outperform rating and raised its price target to $125 from $118.

Teledyne Technologies Inc. (NYSE: TDY) was named as the Bull of the Day at Zacks, which noted this high-tech equipment manufacturer is naturally defensive and nearly immune to economic cycles. The Zacks Bear of the Day is Netgear Inc. (NASDAQ: NTGR), which Zacks called vulnerable to trade dispute issues and global economic conditions.

Thursday’s top analyst upgrades and downgrades included AGCO, Apple, Caterpillar, Cisco Systems, Deere, Evergy, Levi Strauss, PayPal, Slack, Urban Outfitters and many more.

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