Stocks have continued to hit all-time highs almost day after day now, and the futures were marginally higher on Tuesday. The next two weeks are the period generally considered as the “Santa Claus rally” but investors might want to consider that the mood was the exact opposite one year ago, and that the S&P 500 was up 3.5% in the past month alone. Many positives are being seen in the market around trade and rekindled growth opportunities in 2020, but many pressing issues, risks and potential pitfalls remain as the current bull market has raged on for longer than a decade. Investors need to consider what changes they should be making for their portfolios and assets heading into 2020.
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, 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 calls. The consensus analyst price targets and other valuation metrics are from the Refinitiv sell-side research service.
As a reminder, the stock market and bond market have early closes on this trading day (1:00 p.m. for stocks and 2:00 p.m. for bonds). Analyst calls are generally expected to be very light the week between Christmas and New Year’s, so this may be the last day of full analyst reports until the start of the new year. These are the top analyst upgrades, downgrades and initiations for Tuesday, December 24, 2019.
Advance Auto Parts Inc. (NYSE: AAP) was reiterated as Outperform with a $180 target price (versus a $159.97 close) at Wedbush Securities. The firm noted that the DieHard brand acquisition should help improve its DIY business.
Amgen Inc. (NASDAQ: AMGN) was started with a Market Perform rating at Raymond James. Shares closed down three cents at $243.03, with a $233.13 consensus target price ahead of the call.
Apple Inc. (NASDAQ: AAPL) was actually a call from Monday, but it was one of the few research notes issued that day with a major change. Wedbush took its target up to $350 and is now the highest target on Wall Street as 2020 is expected to be a launch pad for an iPhone supercycle.
AquaVenture Holdings Ltd. (NYSE: WAAS) was downgraded to Market Perform from Outperform at Raymond James and to Sector Perform from Outperform at RBC Capital Markets. It closed up 24.5% at $27.10 after Culligan announced a $1.1 billion all-cash buyout of the company.
Builders FirstSource Inc. (NASDAQ: BLDR) was reiterated as Outperform and its target price was raised to $29 from $27 (versus a $24.04 prior close) at Wedbush. Its consensus target price was $27.58.
CarMax Inc. (NYSE: KMX) was reiterated as Outperform and the price target was raised to $100 from $95 at Credit Suisse. Shares closed down 3.8% at $89.18 on Monday, and the prior consensus target price was $106.75.