Top Analyst Upgrades and Downgrades: AIG, Apple, Charles Schwab, Ciena, E*Trade, GoPro, Spotify, Stitch Fix, TD Ameritrade and More

Stocks tried to open higher on the first day of the fourth quarter, but Tuesday’s trading took the three major U.S. equity indexes down 1.1% to 1.3%. Wednesday’s indications were for a weaker opening bell. The bull market is now well over 10 years old, and volatility has been elevated despite strong double-digit percentage gains in 2019. Now investors need to be considering what changes they should be making for their 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, October 2, 2019.

Activision Blizzard Inc. (NASDAQ: ATVI) was downgraded to Underperform from Market Perform at Bernstein. Shares closed at $52.90 ahead of the call, with a consensus target price of $56.97 and a 52-week trading range of $39.85 to $83.93.

American International Group Inc. (NYSE: AIG) was reiterated as Overweight and the price target was raised to $67 from $65 at Barclays. AIG shares closed down 2.4% at $54.37, and they had a $59.69 consensus price target ahead of this call.

Apple Inc. (NASDAQ: AAPL) was reiterated as Outperform with the same $246 price target (versus a $224.59 prior close) at Wedbush Securities. This call was based on the fact that suppliers already are getting slight revisions higher to forecasts for the new iPhone 11.

Charles Schwab Corp. (NYSE: SCHW) was down 9.7% at $37.76 on Monday on about four times normal volume after it decided to gut the electronic brokerage sector by going down to $0 commissions. JPMorgan maintained its Overweight rating on the shares but cut its target to $44 from $48.

Ciena Corp. (NASDAQ: CIEN) was reiterated as Buy but the target price was cut to $43 from $47 at Nomura/Instinet. Ciena closed down about 7% at $36.49 ahead of this call, with a 52-week range of $28.23 to $46.78 and a consensus target price of $50.39.

E*Trade Financial Corp. (NASDAQ: ETFC) was downgraded to Underweight from Overweight and the price target was cut to $31 at Barclays. The stock closed down 16.4% at $36.51 ahead of the call, based on the zero-commission trading from Schwab.

Expeditors International of Washington Inc. (NASDAQ: EXPD) was downgraded to Equal Weight from Overweight with a $72 target price at Barclays. It closed down 1.5% at $73.17 ahead of the call and has a consensus target price of $74.79.

GoPro Inc. (NASDAQ: GPRO) was named as the Zacks Bear of the Day stock. The firm said that technology has caught up with this pioneer in adventure photography. Shares last closed at $5.28, with a consensus price target of $6.00.

KLA Corp. (NASDAQ: KLA) was named as the Bull of the Day at Zacks, which said that this lesser known tech manufacturer has been paying shareholders handsomely year after year. Its shares most recently closed at $158.29, with a consensus price target of $161.08.

Quaker Chemical Corp. (NYSE: KWR) was reiterated as Buy with a $204 price target at Janney, but the firm did raise its earnings estimates in the call.

Smartsheet Inc. (NYSE: SMAR) was reiterated as Outperform with a $62 price target (versus a $36.26 prior close) at Wedbush. Canaccord Genuity maintained its Buy rating but lowered its target price to $45 from $53.

Spotify Technology S.A. (NYSE: SPOT) was raised to Neutral from Underperform with the same $120 target price at Credit Suisse. Spotify previously closed down 1.3% at $112.52, and it has a consensus target price of $167.58. Its 52-week trading range is $103.29 to $180.66.

Stitch Fix Inc. (NASDAQ: SFIX) was up 4.2% at $20.06 ahead of earnings on Tuesday, but the post-earnings reaction on Wednesday had shares down 8.5% at $18.35. JPMorgan reiterated it as Neutral but cut its target price to $24 from $34. SunTrust Robinson Humphrey maintained its Buy rating but lowered its target to $36 from $44. The 52-week trading range is $16.05 to $37.72.

TD Ameritrade Holding Corp. (NASDAQ: AMTD), which has the most exposure to commission trading, was down almost 26% at $34.67 on about 15 times normal volume on Schwab’s zero-commission trading announcement. Barclays downgraded it to Underweight from Overweight and cut the price target to $31 from $57.

Global semiconductor sales trends look awful in year-over-year comparisons, but industry data shows that August marked the second sequential gain in its three-month averages.

The team at Robert W. Baird has three biotech stock picks with huge potential upside based on upcoming catalysts.

Tuesday’s top analyst upgrades and downgrades included Analog Devices, Blackstone, Bloom Energy, Cleveland-Cliffs, Ford, Micron Technology, PG& E, Snap, VMWare many more.

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