Stocks have been putting in new all-time highs ahead of the China trade deal and ahead of earnings season, but a mixed bag of bank earnings and some investors taking pause were keeping futures from having much of a pop at the open on Tuesday. Many investors still have not made portfolio changes during and after a very strong market in 2019, but there is still time to get positioned for 2020. There are many market risks, concerns and headlines that may come with worry, but global growth may see a rekindled strength this year, while interest rates are expected to remain stable. This is also an election year in which much is at stake, and strategists are by and large calling for single-digit percentage gains in 2020.
24/7 Wall St. reviews dozens of analyst research reports each day of the week with a goal of finding 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 analyst calls in a quick-hit summary for easy reading, and additional comments and trading data have been added on many calls. The consensus analyst price targets and other valuation metrics are from the Refinitiv sell-side research service.
Our 2020 Bull/Bear Outlook sees the Dow rising by about 7.4% to 30,650 this year, but there are outliers that could help the Dow rise by over 10% after a very strong 2019. The upside scenario puts Dow 32,000 easily within reach if only a few things go right this year.
These are the top analyst upgrades, downgrades and initiations from Tuesday, January 14, 2020.
Alliance Data Systems Corp. (NYSE: ADS) was downgraded to Hold from Buy at Argus, with the independent research firm losing its optimism after a weaker outlook. The stock closed at $112.42 on Monday, in a 52-week range of $99.20 to $182.95 and with a consensus target price of $127.18.
Amazon.com Inc. (NASDAQ: AMZN) was reiterated as Buy and the price objective was raised to $2,330 from $2,160 (versus a $1,891.30 prior close) at Merrill Lynch, which noted many growth levers for 2020 as the company is strong in the cloud with AWS and strong in e-commerce.
Apple Inc. (NASDAQ: AAPL) was reiterated as Outperform and with the same $350 price target (versus a $316.96 close) at Wedbush Securities, but the firm is becoming more vocal about the rerating gaining steam and that its fundamentals are supporting a potential $400 share price valuation by the end of 2020.
Aspen Technology Inc. (NASDAQ: AZPN) was reiterated as Outperform with a $154 target price (versus a $138.14 close) at Wedbush, with the firm pointing out that it expects its positive trends to continue.
Baker Hughes Co. (NYSE: BKR) was started with an Underperform rating and a $19.50 target price (versus a $24.41 close) at Bernstein.
Bed Bath & Beyond Inc. (NASDAQ: BBBY) was named as the Zacks Bear of the Day stock. The firm said that this is one of those toxic retail assets. Shares last closed at $15.00 and have a consensus price target of $15.23.
BP PLC (NYSE: BP) was downgraded to Hold from Buy at Berenberg.
Core Laboratories N.V. (NYSE: CLB) was started with a Market Perform rating and a $38 target price (versus a $40.24 close) at Bernstein.
Five Below Inc. (NASDAQ: FIVE) was down over 11.3% to $107.46 after reporting a disappointing quarter on Monday. Credit Suisse has decided to upgrade the shares to Outperform from Neutral, but the firm did keep its $125 target price as it noted that the stock is now at a relatively rare discount.
Freeport-McMoRan Inc. (NYSE: FCX) was downgraded to Underperform from Neutral at Credit Suisse, with the firm citing valuation and a view of a copper surplus. After rising almost 5% to $13.53 on Monday, the stock had a $14.01 consensus target price and a 52-week trading range of $8.43 to $14.68.
GameStop Corp. (NYSE: GME) was last seen down almost 9% at $4.95 after announcing even more disappointing sales trends in the fourth quarter of 2019. Wedbush decided to maintain its Outperform rating and $8 target price as the firm feels GameStop is turning the page on a disappointing quarter ahead of the key Xbox and PlayStation console refreshes coming this fall.