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Top Analyst Upgrades and Downgrades: Amazon, Apple, BofA, Cinemark, Coupa, Ecolab, Novavax, Pepsico, P&G, Square, Walmart and More

The Dow Jones industrials and S&P 500 were indicated to have a slightly positive open on Tuesday, but this is after a bloodletting session with a nearly 3,000-point drop in the Dow that was the second-worst trading day in history. Some investors are trying to remain upbeat and looking long term, while others are already going to recessionary posturing. Investors and analysts alike may still have their favorite brands and companies, but whatever the target prices were last week or last month are going to come down, if they have not been lowered already.

24/7 Wall St. reviews dozens of analyst research reports each day of the week in an effort to find new trading ideas for investors and traders. Some of the daily analyst calls cover stocks to buy, while some analyst calls cover stocks to sell or to avoid. As noted above, it should be expected that even the great market darlings will have analysts rerating the shares (i.e., lower target prices). If Buy and Outperform ratings are maintained, the very high price targets are certain to come down, and we are starting also to see analyst upgrades while they lower their price targets in the same call. So goes the old market dilemma: a drop of 20% takes a 25% rally to get back to even, a drop of one-third takes a 50% rally to come back, and a drop of 50% takes a 100% rally to get back to even.

Thursday’s analyst calls are 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 Tuesday, March 17, 2020.

Amazon.com Inc. (NASDAQ: AMZN) was reiterated as Outperform at Wedbush Securities, but the firm added it to the Best Ideas List with a $2,325 target price after the company announced another 100,000 job openings to help facilitate the larger amount of online orders as the coronavirus is hurting retail. Amazon shares closed down 5.37% at $1,689.15 on Monday and were indicated up about 4.2% at $1,759.75 on Tuesday. Its consensus target price is one that needs to come down as it was still close to $2,400 (versus its highest-ever trading price of $2,185.95) on last look.

Apple Inc. (NASDAQ: AAPL) was maintained as Overweight but its target price was lowered to $328 from $368 at Morgan Stanley. Apple closed down almost 13% at $242.21 ahead of this call, after announcing store closures.

Bank of America Corp. (NYSE: BAC) was raised to Outperform from Neutral at Robert W. Baird, and the firm’s $34 target price was after a 15.4% drop to $20.44 on Monday.

Boston Beer Co. Inc. (NYSE: SAM) was raised to Buy from Neutral at MKM Partners.

Builders FirstSource Inc. (NASDAQ: BLDR) was downgraded to Neutral from Buy at B. Riley FBR.

Cal-Maine Foods Inc. (NASDAQ: CALM) was raised to Overweight from Equal Weight and its target price was raised to $47 from $45 (versus a $37.39 prior close) at Stephens.

CarGurus Inc. (NASDAQ: CARG) was raised to Buy from Neutral at BTIG.

Check Point Software Technologies Ltd. (NASDAQ: CHKP) was raised to Buy from Hold with a $115 target price (versus a $90.93 close, after a 2.9% drop) at SunTrust Robinson Humphrey.

Cinemark Holdings Inc. (NYSE: CNK) was downgraded to Neutral from Overweight and the target price was slashed to $20 from $32 at JPMorgan.

Citrix Systems Inc. (NASDAQ: CTXS) was raised to Outperform from Market Perform with a $124 target price at Raymond James.

Coupa Software Inc. (NASDAQ: COUP) was maintained as Overweight and its target price was cut to $130 from $117 (versus a $108.57 close) at Piper Sandler.

Discovery Financial Services (NYSE: DFS) was maintained as Outperform and its target price was lowered to $32 from $34 at Imperial Capital. Shares closed down almost 27% at $37.87 on Monday.