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Top Analyst Upgrades and Downgrades: Chipotle, Gap, IBEX, Murphy Oil, NeoPhotonics, Qualcomm, Renewable Energy, Square, Tesla, Zoom and More

The S&P 500 has continued to surge to new all-time highs, and the index just had its best August monthly gains in about 24 years. Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell’s pledge to keep interest rates incredibly low and allow inflation to run hot has driven the interest into stocks rather than the ultra-low Treasury yields. 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 rest of 2020 and ahead of the election.

24/7 Wall St. reviews dozens of analyst research reports each day of the week with a goal of finding new ideas for investors and traders alike. Some of these daily analyst calls cover stocks to buy. Other calls cover stocks to sell or avoid.

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 Tuesday, September 1, 2020.

Bank of New York Mellon Corp. (NYSE: BK) was maintained as Underweight at Morgan Stanley, but the firm did raise its target price to $42 from $41, after a 1.5% drop to $36.98 on Monday. The consensus target price was $44.31.

Bloomin’ Brands Inc. (NASDAQ: BLMN) was raised to Buy from Hold with a $20 target at Deutsche Bank, and Raymond James raised its rating to Strong Buy from Outperform with an $18 price target.

Checkmate Pharmaceuticals Inc. (NASDAQ: CMPI) was started with a Neutral rating and a $19 price objective at BofA Securities.

Chipotle Mexican Grill Inc. (NYSE: CMG) was reiterated as Outperform at Wedbush Securities after a $1,310.28 prior close, but the firm raised its target to $1,600 from $1,320 after noting that its growth of store sales went twice as much under post-COVID-19 that pre-COVID-19.

CME Group Inc. (NASDAQ: CME) was named as the Zacks Bear of the Day stock. The firm said that with interest rates stabilized by the Federal Reserve and equities rallying, derivatives are seeing reduced demand. Shares last closed at $175.87 and have a consensus price target of $178.67.

Cytosorbents Corp. (NASDAQ: CTSO) was started with an Outperform rating and a $15 target price (versus an $8.44 prior close) at SVB Leerink.

Freeline Therapeutics Holdings PLC (NASDAQ: FRLN) was started as Outperform and a $28 target price at Wedbush. This is after its initial public offering of more than 8.8 million American depositary shares at $18 apiece, and the upside from the recent $16.11 close was noting that shares could have significant upside from its potential to develop best-in-class AAV gene therapies targeting hemophilia, Gaucher and lysosomal storage disease.

Gap Inc. (NYSE: GPS) was maintained as Neutral at Morgan Stanley, but its target price was raised to $16 from $11 in the call.

IBEX Ltd. (NASDAQ: IBEX) was started with a Buy rating and a $22 price target (versus a $15.99 prior close) at Truist Securities. Robert W. Baird started it as Outperform with a $22 price target, and Citigroup issued a Buy rating and the same $22 target price.