Stocks managed to hold some of their gains on Wednesday, but more suspected cases of coronavirus and more deaths reported have stocks weaker on Thursday, even as U.S. gross domestic product for the fourth quarter came out at 2.1%. While volatility can scare even the most confident investors, it is important to keep in mind that stocks were just at all-time highs a few days ago.
Many investors still have not made portfolio changes since the very strong market in 2019. This is also an election year in which much is at stake, and strategists overall are 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 of the calls. The consensus analyst price targets and other valuation metrics are from the Refinitiv sell-side research service.
These are the top analyst upgrades, downgrades and initiations from Thursday, January 30, 2020.
Alphabet Inc. (NASDAQ: GOOGL) was reiterated as Outperform and the target price was raised to $1,625 from $1,500 at Wedbush Securities in a call right before earnings. Alphabet closed up 0.4% at $1,456.70 ahead of earnings but the shares were indicated down 1.5% at $1,435.00 on Thursday. It had a $1,536.07 consensus target price.
Apple Inc. (NASDAQ: AAPL) was raised to Buy from Hold and the target price was raised to $355 from $290 at DZ Bank. Shares previously closed up over 2% at $324.34 after earnings and after multiple price target hikes after the call. Apple was still indicated down 1.3% at $320.00 on Thursday morning.
AT&T Inc. (NYSE: T) was downgraded to Neutral from Buy and the target price was lowered to $39 from $42 at UBS. Shares previously closed down by almost 4% at $37.05 after earnings, in a 52-week range of $28.92 to $39.70. The consensus analyst target is $39.50.
Biogen Inc. (NASDAQ: BIIB) was up 0.2% at $282.52 ahead of earnings and was indicated up 2% at $288.12 afterward. Wedbush maintained its Neutral rating and $283 target price as it still sees concerns ahead.
CSX Corp. (NASDAQ: CSX) was named as the Zacks Bear of the Day stock. The firm said that coal is still a headwind for this east coast railroad. Its shares last closed at $77.53, with a consensus price target of $77.76.
Expedia Group Inc. (NASDAQ: EXPE) was downgraded to Neutral from Buy and its target price was lowered to $120 from $140 (versus a $109.55 close) at Goldman Sachs. It had a $129.57 consensus target price, and its shares were indicated down almost 3% at $106.50 on Thursday morning.
Dow Inc. (NYSE: DOW) was downgraded to Sector Perform from Outperform and the target price was lowered to $54 from $59 (versus a $49.67 close, after a 5.3% gain) at RBC Capital Markets. The stock was indicated down over 1% at $49.000, and its consensus target price was $55.76.
Facebook Inc. (NASDAQ: FB) was up 2.5% at $223.23 ahead of earnings, but the post-earnings reaction was down 7.7% at $206.07 on Thursday morning’s post-earnings reaction. Its 52-week high is $224.20, and the consensus target price was $247.75. UBS maintained its Buy rating but trimmed its target price to $246 from $250, and RBC Capital Markets maintained its Outperform rating but cut its target to $255 from $270.
Also on Facebook, SunTrust Robinson Humphrey reiterated its Buy rating and raised its target to $265 from $250, and Susquehanna reiterated its Buy rating and raised its target to $285 from $245. Pivotal Research downgraded Facebook to Hold from Buy and lowered its target price to $215 from $245. Merrill Lynch kept its Buy rating but trimmed its price objective to $250 from $260.