Top Analyst Upgrades and Downgrades: Alcoa, Amgen, Apache, Chewy, Clorox, Concho Resources, Disney, Edwards Lifesciences, Occidental and More

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The futures traded somewhat lower Monday morning after comments over the trade dispute Friday by the U.S. president sent the market lower. With the third quarter almost in the books, and the S&P 500 up almost 20% this year, it would not be a surprise to see some selling this week by fund managers trying to lock in gains. This is a time when investors have to be considering exactly how they want their portfolios and assets positioned for the final three months 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 Monday, September 23, 2019.

AK Steel Holding Corp. (NYSE: AKS) was downgraded to Underweight from Overweight at JPMorgan. The shares have traded in a 52-week range of $1.56 to $5.11, and the Wall Street consensus price target is $2.01. The stock closed Friday’s trading at $2.43 a share.

Advanced Energy Industries Inc. (NASDAQ: AEIS) was raised to Buy from Neutral at Citigroup, which also raised its price target on the stock to $68. The consensus price target is lower at $58.83. The stock closed trading at $56.34 on Friday.

Alcoa Corp. (NYSE: AA) was downgraded to Neutral from Buy at Goldman Sachs. The aluminum giant has traded in a 52-week range of $16.46 to $45.45, and the consensus price target is $28.67. The stock was last seen at trading $21.70 a share.

Amgen Inc. (NASDAQ: AMGN) was named as the Bull of the Day at Zacks, which said that one of the world’s original biotech companies is still on top of the heap after almost 40 years. The shares most recently closed at $196.94, with a consensus price target of $214.84.

Anika Therapeutics Inc. (NASDAQ: ANIK) was downgraded to Outperform from Strong Buy at First Analysis Securities, which set its target price at $54. That compares to a consensus price target of $47.75. The stock closed on Friday at $53.12.

Apache Corp. (NYSE: APA) was started with a Buy rating and a $32 price target at SunTrust. The consensus price objective is $29.57, and the shares ended last week at $25.80.

Autolus Therapeutics PLC (NASDAQ: AUTL) was started with a Buy rating and a $26 price target at Needham. The analyst noted that the company is developing solutions for the most difficult challenges in the CAR-T space, including reducing toxicity, improving T-cell persistence, overcoming resistance, finding new tumor antigen targets and achieving efficacy in solid tumors. The consensus price target is much higher at $36, and the shares closed Friday at $13.09.

Cadence Design Systems Inc. (NASDAQ: CDNS) was started with a Neutral rating and a $73 price objective at Merrill Lynch. The consensus price target is $73.77. The stock closed on Friday at $66.01 a share.

Chewy Inc. (NYSE: CHWY) was raised to a Buy rating from Neutral and a $36 price target at Nomura. The consensus target is $36.40. The online pet food retailer had a reasonably hot IPO earlier this year. Its shares ended Friday at $26.39, down almost 4% on the day.