Stocks managed to squeeze out a small gain on Tuesday after a negative open, but Wednesday’s indications were a tad lower after disappointing earnings and ahead of what may be a disappointing Federal Reserve interest rate decision. Despite volatility, the S&P 500 is still very close to its all-time highs. Investors are having to grapple with a much lower growth economy at the same time the bull market is well over 10 years old. Now investors should be considering what changes to make to portfolios and assets heading into late 2019 and as 2020 approaches.
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, September 18, 2019.
Abercrombie & Fitch Co. (NYSE: ANF) was started with a Neutral rating and assigned an $18 target price at D.A. Davidson. The stock closed at $16.24 ahead of the call, and it has a $17.67 consensus target price.
Adobe Inc. (NASDAQ: ADBE) closed up 0.6% at $284.69 ahead of earnings, but the initial reaction to the report took its shares down 2.9% to $276.44, based on its outlook. Stifel maintained its positive outlook on Adobe, and Wedbush Securities maintained its Neutral rating with a $290 target price, noting concerns over the Marketo billings and analytics-cloud billings. JPMorgan maintained its Neutral rating and cut its target to $318 from $329. BMO maintained its Outperform rating and cut its target to $310 from $315, and Citigroup maintained it as Buy while cutting its target to $322 from $335. Nomura/Instinet maintained its Buy rating but lowered its target to $310 from $315. Adobe had a consensus target price of $312.92 ahead of the earnings, and its 52-week trading range is $204.95 to $313.11.
Apple Inc. (NASDAQ: AAPL) was reiterated as Outperform with the same $245 price target (versus a $220.70 prior close) at Wedbush, with the analyst noting that China could be the star of the show as the iPhone 11 launch hits.
AT&T Inc. (NYSE: T) was downgraded to Hold from Buy with a $38 target price at DZ Bank. AT&T closed down 0.4% at $37.16 ahead of this call, with a consensus target price of $35.88 and a 52-week trading range of $26.80 to $38.75.
Chewy Inc. (NYSE: CHWY) closed down 0.6% at $30.25 ahead of its first earnings as a public company, and it shares initially traded down 4.7% to $28.78 after the report. Wedbush maintained its Neutral rating with a $30 target, noting that, despite a beat and raise quarter, the rate of revenue growth is slowing while there are many other positives. Chewy had a consensus target price of $36.90 heading into earnings, and its post-IPO trading range was $29.03 to $41.34.
Corning Inc. (NYSE: GLW) was maintained as Overweight at Morgan Stanley, but the firm did lower its target to $34 from $37 after the company’s tempered guidance. UBS reiterated its Neutral rating but lowered its target to $30 from $33. Argus maintained its Buy rating and $42 long-term target price. Shares closed down 6% at $28.23, and the prior consensus target price was $32.02 ahead of the move and analyst reactions.
Crocs Inc. (NASDAQ: CROX) was named as the Bull of the Day at Zacks, which said that the Croc is cool again, propelling a Gen Z fashion statement into a fashionable trend. Shares closed most recently at $28.79, with a consensus price target of $32.00.
Dow Inc. (NYSE: DOW) was maintained as Buy at Nomura/Instinet, but the target price was lowered to $52 from $56 in that call. Dow closed down 2% at $48.00, and its consensus target price was $54.73.
Exelon Corp. (NYSE: EXC) was reiterated with a Buy rating and a $53 target price (versus a $47.29 close) at Argus. Shares closed down 0.2% ahead of the call, and the consensus target price is $52.91.
FedEx Corp. (NYSE: FDX) was already way off its highs, but the 27-cent drop to $173.30 was followed by a post-earnings drop of over 7% to $159.90 in Tuesday’s after-hours reaction to lower guidance. Robert W. Baird maintained its Outperform rating but lowered its target to $175 from $180. Morgan Stanley maintained its Equal Weight rating but cut its target to $120 from $130. JPMorgan maintained its Neutral rating but lowered its target to $318 from $329. Stifel downgraded FedEx to Hold from Buy and lowered its target to $171 from $185. The stock had a consensus target price of $187.19 ahead of the earnings, and its 52-week trading range was $147.82 to $250.95.
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