Stocks have risen into year-end and exceeded almost all targets from a year ago, but the last trading day of the year is looking directionless after year-end profit-taking was seen on Monday. This is the time on the calendar of that seasonal “Santa Claus Rally” the media refers to, but most investors are still trying to figure how they want to be positioned for a volatile 2020 election year. Many positives are being seen in the market around trade and rekindled growth opportunities, and many risks and pressing issues remain that have many investors worried.
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 most of the large firms tend to make very few bold analyst calls during the last 10 calendar days of the year, and as many traders and investors tend to go silent at year-end, we have grouped the analyst calls to include any analyst calls in recent days as well as for Tuesday. These are the top analyst upgrades, downgrades and initiations for the final trading days of 2019.
Activision Blizzard Inc. (NASDAQ: ATVI) was reiterated as Outperform and the price target was raised to $69 from $67 at Credit Suisse on Tuesday. Activision previously closed down 0.5% at $58.88 a share and had a consensus target price of $60.63. Its “Warcraft III: Reforged” launch was pushed out in December to January 28, 2020, so the uptick will now be in 2020 rather than 2019, while it boosted its late-2019 contribution from “Call of Duty: Modern Warfare.”
Amazon.com Inc. (NASDAQ: AMZN) was reiterated as Buy with a $2,250 price target at Argus on Tuesday. While the call is the same as before, strong year-end data from its own sales and record-breaking numbers from third-party sellers have come at a time when relative underperformance in its shares during 2019 had pushed its valuations to more attractive ranges. The independent research firm believes that Amazon deserves long-term accumulation by most equity investors due to its strength in the cloud and in leveraging retail-consumer efforts.
Apple Inc. (NASDAQ: AAPL) has been reiterated as Outperform at Wedbush Securities in recent days, and the firm’s recently upgraded target price of $350 is now the highest on Wall Street. Apple’s close on Monday was up another 0.6% at $291.52, and its consensus target price was $266.22 on last look.
Boeing Co. (NYSE: BA) was named as the Bear of the Day at Zacks. The firm’s “strong sell” implication is after a tough 2019, and it seems that its complications continue to progress rather than improve in the wake of its 737 Max disasters. Adverse developments have continued to push down this stock, and while there may be a positive long-term view, the firm feels Boeing’s stock has continued room to move lower.
Boston Scientific Corp. (NYSE: BSX) was reiterated as Outperform and the target was raised to $52 from $47 at Cowen on Monday, and its shares closed down 0.5% at $44.99 on the same day. It has a $49.19 consensus target price.
Eli Lilly and Co. (NYSE: LLY) was reiterated as Buy at Argus on Monday, and the firm raised its target price to $165 from $145 in the call. Shares closed down almost 0.2% at $131.30 on Monday, and the consensus target price was $130.69.
Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. (NYSE: GT) was started as Buy at Nomura/Instinet on Monday with a $20 target price. Shares closed up 0.86% at $15.23 on Monday after the call, and the 52-week range is $10.74 to $22.17. The consensus target price was last seen at $19.29.
Hain Celestial Group Inc. (NASDAQ: HAIN) was reiterated as Buy and the target price was raised to $30 from $25 (versus a $23.53 prior close) at Jefferies. It had a consensus target price of $24.50 ahead of this call.
Insmed Inc. (NASDAQ: INSM) was reiterated as Outperform with a $40 target price at Credit Suisse on Tuesday. Shares previously closed at $23.43, and the consensus target price was $42.56.