Top Analyst Upgrades and Downgrades: Agilent, Cree, Deere, Disney, Gilead, Home Depot, Kohl's, Nordstrom, Walmart and More

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The stock market miraculously has seen all-time highs again, as if the March panic selling and the recession never happened. The market indexes looked directionless on Wednesday morning, as if the market was awaiting a catalyst. It is important to remember that this is really the effects of a market of stocks with many leaders hitting higher and higher levels rather than the entire market all having recovered. Many investors missed the recovery as the recession forced them out of the market. Investors also have been looking for new ideas for how to be positioned in the second half of 2020 and ahead of the election.

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

Now that stocks have recovered so much, analyst calls basically have normalized, with fewer extreme target changes. Some calls are praising growth over value, and others are focused on base economy stocks that have already begun recovering. Remember that no single analyst call should ever be used as a basis to buy or sell a stock. Consensus analyst target data is from Refinitiv.

These are the top analyst upgrades, downgrades and initiations from Wednesday, August 19, 2020.

Agilent Technologies Inc. (NYSE: A) was reiterated as Neutral but its price target was raised to $100 from $85 at Citigroup.

Cadence Bancorp. (NYSE: CADE) was raised to Outperform from Market Perform and its target was raised to $13 from $11 at Keefe Bruyette & Woods.

Cree Inc. (NASDAQ: CREE) was downgraded to Market Perform from Market Outperform at JMP Securities.

Darden Restaurants Inc. (NYSE: DRI) was downgraded to Hold from Buy at Stifel.

Deere & Co. (NYSE: DE) was reiterated as Neutral and the price target was raised to $198 from $165 at Citigroup. The stock closed down 0.45% at $192.13 on Tuesday, with a $184.50 consensus target price.

Fidelity National Information Services Inc. (NYSE: FIS) was started as Outperform and its price target was set at $170 (versus a $143.81 prior close) at Bernstein.

Gilead Sciences Inc. (NASDAQ: GILD) was reiterated as Overweight but its target price was lowered to $84 from $86 at Cantor Fitzgerald. Shares closed down 0.1% at $69.06 on Tuesday, with an $80.17 consensus target price.

Home Depot Inc. (NYSE: HD) closed down 1.1% at $285.00 on Tuesday after earnings, and it had a $287.65 consensus target price. Raymond James reiterated it as Outperform and raised its price target to $305 from $295. Wedbush reiterated its Neutral rating and but raised its price target to $300 from $270.

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