Thursday’s market sell-off was a bloodbath, the worst trading day since the Black Monday crash of 1987, and it felt almost as bad as that day even though the percentage losses were only about half of the crash day. Investors just saw the bull market meet its formal end, and the Dow Jones industrial average was approaching a 30% correction from last month’s all-time highs.
Here is how the massive drop of March 12 looked compared with the real Black Monday crash of 1987.
While the panic was big, many investors are maintaining a level head that the coronavirus ultimately will pass, as most things eventually do. 24/7 Wall St. reviews dozens of analyst research reports each day to find new ideas for investors and traders. Some calls cover stocks to buy, others cover stocks to sell or avoid. Many analysts have so far maintained positive ratings on the top companies, but price targets are starting to come down and should be coming down much more in the coming days to reflect the new lower prices.
Investors should always use research calls as just one tool rather than as a sole source for an investment decision. We have included brief data on each call, and consensus target prices are from Refinitiv.
These are the top analyst calls for Friday, March 13, 2020.
After a U.S. Department of Defense reconsideration of its JEDI Cloud contract, Wedbush Securities now believes that Microsoft Corp. (NASDAQ: MSFT) will likely end up in a split contract with Amazon.com Inc. (NASDAQ: AMZN), with a split among Azure and AWS, and potentially additional vendors as well. The firm previously projected that the entire $10 billion JEDI contact over 10 years would remain with Microsoft. Microsoft closed down 9.5% at $139.06 per share on Thursday, and Amazon closed down 7.9% at $1,676.61.
Adobe Inc. (NASDAQ: ADBE) was maintained as Neutral with a $315 target price at Wedbush, and JPMorgan raised it to Overweight from Neutral with a $325 target price.
Advanced Micro Devices Inc. (NASDAQ: AMD) closed down 14.6% at $39.01 on Thursday but was indicated up over 8% at $42.29 on Friday. A firm called Northland Capital raised its rating on AMD to Outperform from Market Perform and hiked its target to $52.50 from $45.00, despite trimming earnings estimates, along with seeing game console demand and data-center demand remaining high.
Amarin Corp. PLC (NASDAQ: AMRN) was raised to Buy from Neutral with a $28 target price (versus an $11.50 prior close, after an 8.4% drop) at Goldman Sachs. The stock was indicated up 12% at $12.90 on Friday.
American Electric Power Co. Inc. (NYSE: AEP) was raised to Overweight from Sector Weight with a $93 target price (versus an $82.54 close, after an 8% drop) at KeyBanc Capital Markets.
Apple Inc. (NASDAQ: AAPL) closed down 9.9% at $248.23 and its prior consensus target price was still up at $331.20, despite coming cuts expected. Wells Fargo upgraded Apple to Overweight from Equal Weight and noted that the 24% drop in the past month is attractive, despite not being able to gauge the full impact from the coronavirus.
BlackRock Inc. (NYSE: BLK) was maintained as Buy but the target price was cut to $510 from $600 (versus a $386.22 close) at Citigroup. It recently had a $552.07 consensus target price.
Broadcom Inc. (NASDAQ: AVGO) was down 11% at $218.78 on Thursday but was still up 3% at $225.50 despite withdrawing its 2020 outlook based on coronavirus uncertainty. Rosenblatt maintained its Buy rating but trimmed its target price to $350 from $370. KeyBanc Capital Markets maintained its Overweight rating but slashed its target price to $240 from $360, and Citigroup maintained its Buy rating while cutting its target to $340 from $378.
Campbell Soup Co. (NYSE: CPB) was downgraded to Sell from Neutral with a $47 target price at Goldman Sachs. It was down 5.5% at $47.68 on Thursday.
Caterpillar Inc. (NYSE: CAT) was maintained as Buy but its target price was lowered to $130 from $150 at Citigroup. Shares closed down 8.37% at $92.26.
CenterPoint Energy Inc. (NYSE: CNP) was downgraded to Underweight from Sector Weight at KeyBanc Capital Markets. Shares closed down 15.8% at $14.87 on Thursday and were indicated up 7% at $15.90 on Friday.
Citrix Systems Inc. (NASDAQ: CTXS) was raised to Outperform from Market Perform at William Blair.
Deere & Co. (NYSE: DE) was maintained as Buy but its target price was lowered to $165 from $190 at Citigroup. Shares closed down 10.6% at $130.39.
Diamond Offshore Drilling Inc. (NYSE: DO) was downgraded to Underweight from Equal Weight and the target price was slashed to $1 from $5 (versus a $1.42 close) at Wells Fargo.
Dolby Laboratories Inc. (NYSE: DLB) was raised to Overweight with a $66 target price at JPMorgan. Shares closed down 11.1% at $53.54 ahead of this call and were indicated up 3% at $55.15 on Friday.
Dollar General Corp. (NYSE: DG) was maintained as Strong Buy but the target price was lowered to $165 from $185 at Raymond James.