Top Analyst Upgrades and Downgrades: Baidu, BP, Ciena, Chevron, Cree, Exxon, Home Depot, Medtronic, Nvidia, Urban Outfitters and More

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Monday’s gain and the initial higher open on Tuesday faded into a sell-off as investors dipped back into less risky assets, but Wednesday’s major equity indexes were indicated to open higher by 0.7% on the Dow Jones industrials and 0.7% on the S&P 500. It is important to keep in mind that the stock market had hit all-time highs late in July and that the bull market is still well over 10 years old. Investors need to be giving strong considerations about how they want their portfolios and assets positioned as the end of 2019 and the start of 2020 get closer.

24/7 Wall St. reviews dozens of analyst research reports each day of the week to find new ideas for traders and long-term investors alike. Some of the daily analyst calls cover stocks to buy, while some 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 Wednesday, August 21, 2019.

Baidu Inc. (NASDAQ: BIDU) was maintained as Neutral at Nomura/Instinet, but its target price was cut to $118 from $134 in the call. Baidu closed up 4.3% at $108.72 in post-earnings reaction on Tuesday and was indicated up almost 1% at $109.70 on Wednesday. Its prior consensus target price was $151.92.

BP PLC (NYSE: BP) was started with an Outperform rating and the price target was set at $53 for its American depositary shares at BMO Capital Markets. BP closed down over 1% at $36.45 on Tuesday, and the consensus target price was $50.26 ahead of the call.

Chevron Corp. (NYSE: CVX) was started with an Outperform rating and assigned a $165 target price at BMO Capital Markets. The stock closed at $116.13 ahead of the call, and the consensus target price was $137.91.

Chimera Investment Corp. (NYSE: CIM) was downgraded to Neutral from Outperform with a $19.50 target price at Credit Suisse. Shares closed at $19.69 ahead of the call, and the consensus target price was $18.88.

Ciena Corp. (NASDAQ: CIEN) was reiterated as Buy with a $50 target price (versus a $41.43 prior close, after a 1.6% drop) at Nomura/Instinet. The firm is comfortable with its high-end estimates, and the call is still more or less in line with a consensus target price of $49.89.

Cree Inc. (NASDAQ: CREE) shares closed down four cents at $58.24 ahead of earnings, but it was down almost 7% at $54.25 after adding the Huawei ban on top of LED softness for weaker results and guidance. JMP Securities downgraded the shares to Market Perform from Outperform.

Exxon Mobil Corp. (NYSE: XOM) was started with a Market Perform rating and assigned a $86 target price at BMO Capital Markets. The shares had closed down 0.6% at $69.03 ahead of the call, and the consensus target price was $82.25.

Home Depot Inc. (NYSE: HD) was up 4.4% at $217.09 on Tuesday after earnings. Wedbush Securities maintained its Neutral rating and $230 target price. Citigroup reiterated its Buy rating and raised its target to $245 from $218, and UBS reiterated its Buy rating and raised its target to $240 from $215. Credit Suisse reiterated its Neutral rating on Home Depot, but it still raised its target price to $213 from $192.

Jazz Pharmaceuticals PLC (NASDAQ: JAZZ) was downgraded to Neutral from Overweight and the target was cut to $142 from $205 (versus a $136.45 close) at Piper Jaffray.