Investing

Top Analyst Upgrades and Downgrades: AEP, Apple, Baker Hughes, BofA, Carnival, Cree, Exxon, JPMorgan, Microsoft, Qualcomm, Under Armour, UPS and More

Hartford Financial Services Group Inc. (NYSE: HIG) was started with a Buy rating and a $56 target price (versus a $46.62 close) at Janney.

JPMorgan Chase & Co. (NYSE: JPM) was reiterated as Neutral and the target price was cut to $125 from $140 at Citigroup.

Lincoln National Corp. (NYSE: LNC) was downgraded to Neutral from Overweight at Piper Sandler. Shares fell 16.8% to $31.71 apiece on Monday.

McDonald’s Corp. (NYSE: MCD) was started with an Equal Weight rating with a $210 target price at Stephens.

Microsoft Corp. (NASDAQ: MSFT) was reiterated with an Outperform rating and $210 target price at Wedbush Securities, with the firm noting that its non-PC business with the cloud should grow in the low-to-mid teens in the coming years and stress-testing its model still projects that roughly 90%+ of this revenue is considered to be essential or high priority for enterprises. Microsoft closed down 6.8% at $150.62 on Monday, down from last month’s all-time high of $190.70.

PetroChina Co. Ltd. (NYSE: PTR) was downgraded to Outperform from Buy at Daiwa. The stock was down 8.9% at $34.03, making it among the least battered during the oil price collapse.

Qualcomm Inc. (NASDAQ: QCOM) was started with a Buy rating and a $98 target price (versus a $72.64 close) at Nomura/Instinet.

Ryder System Inc. (NYSE: R) was raised to Buy from Hold at Stifel, but the target price was lowered to $37 from $51 in that call. Shares closed down 10.4% at $30.84, and the prior consensus target price was still up at $54.17.

Schlumberger Ltd. (NYSE: SLB) was downgraded to Sell from Neutral and its target price was slashed to $15 from $42 (versus a $17.31 close) at JPMorgan.

SeaWorld Entertainment Inc. (NYSE: SEAS) was maintained as Buy but its target price was trimmed to $36 from $42 (versus a $16.40 close, after a 21.6% drop) at B. Riley FBR.

Six Flags Entertainment Corp. (NYSE: SIX) was maintained with a Buy rating but its target price was lowered to $28 from $38 (versus a $19.02 close, after a 10.8% drop) at B. Riley FBR.

Splunk Inc. (NASDAQ: SPLK) was named as the Zacks Bear of the Day stock. The firm said that this data analytics company offered disappointing guidance in its most recent earnings report. Shares last closed at $128.24 and have a consensus price target of $167.09.

Stitch Fix Inc. (NASDAQ: SFIX) closed down almost 7% at $21.21 on Monday, with a prior $30 consensus target price. KeyBanc Capital Markets maintained its Overweight rating but lowered its target price to $26 from $34.

Under Armour Inc. (NYSE: UAA) was reiterated as a Sell rating and its target was lowered to $10 from $12 at B. Riley FBR. It closed down 11.5% at $11.17 a share on Monday.

United Parcel Service Inc. (NYSE: UPS) closed down 7.25% at $87.18, with a prior consensus target price. Stifel raised it to Buy from Hold but lowered its target price to $104 from $118.

Wendy’s Co. (NASDAQ: WEN) was started as Overweight with a $29 target price at Stephens. It closed down 2.8% at $18.65 on Monday.

Xylem Inc. (NYSE: XYL) was downgraded to Underperform from Neutral and its target price was cut to $74 from $79 (versus a $75.94 close, after a 6.5% drop) at Credit Suisse.

Many investors are worried that getting the Federal Reserve to cut the federal funds rate and to begin buying Treasuries and other agency paper again will not accomplish very much to protect the economy. After all, the deflationary impact of a “stay at home” economy due to the coronavirus fears, a recession (or what will feel like one) and plummeting oil (gasoline) prices might not be addressed by lower-than-low interest rates. There are six alternative strategies that the Federal Reserve and government can take that might help to stabilize the economy during the coronavirus impact.

Monday’s top analyst upgrades and downgrades included American Express, ADT, Gilead Sciences, Logitech, PACCAR, Regions Financial, Stamps.com, Vivint Smart Home and many more.