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Top Analyst Upgrades and Downgrades: Alibaba, BofA, Beyond Meat, Chipotle, First Solar, Microsoft, Plug Power, Square, Tesla, Valero and More

Stocks closed higher on Tuesday, but the major indexes were directionless on Thursday despite another drop in weekly jobless claims. With an election coming up and with what is still a very deep recession despite such a strong recovery in stocks from the March lows, investors should be considering how they want their assets positioned for the second half of 2020.

24/7 Wall St. reviews dozens of analyst research reports each day of the week. Our goal is to find new ideas for long-term investors and short-term traders alike. Some analyst reports cover stocks to buy, and some cover stocks to sell or avoid.

Remember, no single analyst report should be used as a sole basis for any buying or selling decision. Consensus analyst target prices are from Refinitiv.

These are the top analyst calls we have seen on Thursday, July 9, 2020.

Advanced Energy Industries Inc. (NASDAQ: AEIS) was reiterated as Outperform and its price target was raised to $73 from $67 (versus a $69.47 prior close) at Raymond James.

Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. (NYSE: BABA) was started with a Buy rating and a $275 price target at Needham. Alibaba closed up almost 9% at $257.68 on Wednesday.

Asbury Automotive Group Inc. (NYSE: ABG) was reiterated as Hold but its target was raised to $100 from $70 (versus a $92.01 close) at SunTrust Robinson Humphrey.

Bank of America Corp. (NYSE: BAC) was downgraded to Neutral from Buy and the price target was cut to $25 from $27 at D.A. Davidson.

Bed Bath & Beyond Inc. (NASDAQ: BBBY) was reiterated as Neutral but the price target was raised to $10 from $5 at UBS. Shares closed up 1.6% at $10.41 on Wednesday, with an $8.19 consensus target price, but they were trading down almost 8% at $9.60 on Thursday’s early indications.

Beyond Meat Inc. (NASDAQ: BYND) was maintained with a Sell rating but its price target was raised to $105 from $75 (versus a $144.98 close) at UBS. Its consensus price target was $101.48.

Bloomin’ Brands Inc. (NASDAQ: BLMN) was started as Neutral but with a $12 price target (versus a $10.19 close) at Credit Suisse.

Cedar Fair L.P. (NYSE: FUN) was downgraded to Hold from Buy at Janney.

Chipotle Mexican Grill Inc. (NYSE: CMG) was reiterated as Overweight and its price target was raised to $1,450 from $1,100 at Piper Sandler.

Cisco Systems Inc. (NASDAQ: CSCO) was raised to Overweight from Equal Weight with a $54 price target at Morgan Stanley, with the firm noting that Cisco’s earnings multiple discount is at a 10-year extreme versus the S&P 500. Shares closed up 0.4% at $45.81 ahead of the call, with a $48.81 consensus target price, and they were indicated up 2.5% at $46.95 ahead of Thursday’s opening bell.

CoreLogic Inc. (NASDAQ: CLGX) was downgraded to Equal Weight from Overweight at Barclays.

Darden Restaurants Inc. (NYSE: DRI) was started with an Outperform rating and a $95 price target (versus a $73.12 close) at Credit Suisse. It had an $85.78 prior consensus target price.

DocuSign Inc. (NASDAQ: DOCU) was reiterated as Outperform and the price target was raised to $240 from $165 (versus a $206.35 close) at Wedbush Securities.

Evoqua Water Technologies Corp. (NYSE: AQUA) was reiterated as Strong Buy and its price target was raised to $21 from $19 (versus a $17.81 close) at Raymond James.