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Top Analyst Upgrades and Downgrades: AMD, Alibaba, Concho, Occidental, Palo Alto Networks, Salesforce, Splunk, Uber, Workday and More

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The futures traded lower Friday morning as investors wrapped up a week that saw both the S&P 500 and the Nasdaq hit all-time record highs. After a massive 35% drop in less than a month, one of the highest velocity sell-offs in stock market history, we witnessed officially the largest 100-day rally ever for the S&P 500, up more than 50%. We also witnessed the shortest bear market in history as well.

It is important to remember that this is really the effect 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 already have 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 Friday, August 21, 2020.

Advanced Micro Devices Inc. (NASDAQ: AMD) saw its target price raised to $100 from $90 at Cowen. The analysts cited chip delays at Intel and kept the Outperform rating on the shares. The Wall Street consensus price target is $75.33, and the stock closed above that level Thursday at $82.77.

Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. (NASDAQ: BABA) saw its target price raised to $295 from $270 at the Benchmark, which also reiterated its Buy rating on the Chinese technology giant. The consensus target is $285.91, and the last trade Thursday was reported at $257.97

Concho Resources Inc. (NYSE: CXO) was raised from Equal Weight to Overweight with a $64 price target at Morgan Stanley. The 52-week trading range is a wide $33.13 to $93.34, and the posted consensus price target is $73.15. Thursday’s last trade hit the tape at $48.53.

DTE Energy Co. (NYSE: DTE) was resumed in coverage at Barclays with an Equal Weight rating and a $128 price target. The consensus target for the utility is in line at $128.83. The shares were last seen trading at $115.46.

D.R. Horton Inc. (NYSE: DHI) was downgraded to Neutral from Outperform at Wedbush. The homebuilder has traded in a 52-week range of $25.51 to $75.54. With a consensus price target of $75.19, and a Thursday close at $74.60, this looks like a valuation call.

Elastic N.V. (NASDAQ: ESTC) saw its price target raised at RBC Capital Markets to $111 from $95, which compares to the $99 consensus target. The stock is listed as one of the top ideas at RBC, and it closed Thursday at $106.98 a share. Shares were higher in premarket trading.

L Brands Inc. (NYSE: LB) saw its target price raised to $30 from $23 at Telsey Advisory Group. The consensus price target is $25.92. The shares were last seen trading at $29.57.

Noble Energy Inc. (NYSE: NBL) was downgraded from Overweight to Equal Weight with an $11 price target at Morgan Stanley. The consensus target is $12.10, and shares closed most recently at $10.01.

Occidental Petroleum Corp. (NYSE: OXY) was raised to Equal Weight from Underweight at Morgan Stanley. The firm’s $14 price target is lower than the $15.95 consensus target. The stock closed at $13.40 on Thursday.

ODP Corp. (NYSE: ODP) was named as the Zacks Bear of the Day stock. The firm said that a reverse stock split and disappointing earnings are bad news for this company. Shares last closed at $20.86 and have a consensus price target of $26.50.

Orasure Technologies Inc. (NASDAQ: OSUR) was started with an Outperform rating and a $22 price target at Evercore ISI. The posted consensus target is $18. The final trade on Thursday came in at $13.19.

Palo Alto Networks Inc. (NASDAQ: PANW) saw its target price raised to $305 from $265 at Oppenheimer. The analysts at Loop Capital started coverage with a Buy rating and a $325 target. The consensus target for the security software giant is $272.21, and shares closed most recently at $272.52.

Salesforce.com Inc. (NYSE: CRM) was started with a Sell rating and a $150 price target Loop Capital. That is well below the consensus target of $204.97 and Thursday’s closing price of $209.51.

Splunk Inc. (NASDAQ: SPLK) was started with a Buy rating and a $270 price objective at Loop Capital. The shares have traded in a 52-week range of $93.92 to $217.36. The consensus price target is set at $193.24, which is below the $200.17 close on Thursday.

Toll Brothers Inc. (NYSE: TOL) saw its target price lifted to $44 from $34 at Wells Fargo. The consensus target for the builder of upscale homes is $38.23, and Thursday’s closing price was $43.06.

Uber Technologies Inc. (NYSE: UBER) was raised to Outperform from Neutral at Daiwa Securities, where the analysts have set a $34 price target. The consensus target is much higher at $41.56. The ride-sharing giant closed Thursday at $31.41 per share.

Whirlpool Corp. (NYSE: WHR) was named as the Bull of the Day at Zacks, which said that renewed demand and investor optimism is driving this home appliance giant. Shares most recently closed at $182.92 and have a consensus price target of $159.00.

Workday Inc. (NASDAQ: WDAY) was started with a Sell rating and a $140 price target at Loop Capital. The consensus target is up at $188.91, and shares were last seen trading at $194.32.

Zscaler Inc. (NASDAQ: ZS) was started with a Buy rating and a $160 target at Loop Capital. The $110 consensus target is a puzzle, as shares closed way above that level Thursday, at $136.42, up almost 7% on the day.

Now that the big sell-off likely is over, one top analyst recommends five gold stocks to buy now.

Five S&P 500 members that are popular with consumers have seen recent golden crosses, a bullish sign.

Thursday’s top analyst upgrades and downgrades included BioMarin Pharmaceuticals, Checkpoint Software Technologies, Cinemark, Fortinet, Palo Alto Networks, Regeneron Pharmaceuticals, Shake Shack, Ventas and Zscaler.

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