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Top Analyst Upgrades and Downgrades: AT&T, Boeing, Conoco, Gilead, Illumina, Lam Research, Raytheon, Yum Brands and More

The futures traded higher again on Thursday as investors reconcile a massive run higher, which included a new high on the Nasdaq Wednesday, with a stock market that is very overbought. With some big selling on the way from end-of-the-year rebalancing, caution makes sense now, and while the vaccine rollout and the possibility for more stimulus are huge positives, investors should be reviewing portfolios and adjusting positioning for 2021.

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 seen on Thursday, December 17, 2020.

AT&T Inc. (NYSE: T) was downgraded from Overweight to Equal Weight with a $34 price objective at Morgan Stanley. The Wall Street consensus target for the telecommunication conglomerate is $31.40. The last trade on Wednesday was reported at $30.29.

Boeing Co. (NYSE: BA) was downgraded to Sell from Neutral at Redburn. The shares have traded in a 52-week range of $89 to $349.95 and have a $224.87 consensus price target. The final trade on Wednesday came in at $225.87.

Brinker International Inc. (NYSE: EAT) saw its target price increased from $55 to $60 at Telsey Advisory Group. The analysts noted given the strength of the core Chili’s brand and incremental contribution from the company’s It’s Just Wings ghost-kitchen brand, they believe Brinker is well-positioned to continue to dramatically outperform. The consensus price objective is $54.25, very near the most recent closing price of $54.35.

Comerica Inc. (NYSE: CMA) was raised to Overweight from Equal Weight at Stephens. The bank has traded in a 52-week range of $24.28 to $72.33, and it has a consensus price objective of $49.48. The last trade on Wednesday was reported at $53.01.

ConocoPhillips (NYSE: COP) was resumed in coverage at Evercore ISI with a $54 price objective. The consensus price objective is $47.71, and Wednesday’s final trade was reported at $42.32.

Cracker Barrel Old Country Store Inc. (NASDAQ: CBRL) was downgraded to Underweight from Equal Weight at Wells Fargo, which also dropped the price target on the shares to $132. The consensus price target is up at $154, and the stock closed Wednesday at $136.49.

Darden Restaurants Inc. (NYSE: DRI) was raised to Overweight from Equal Weight at Wells Fargo, which also increased the price target to $133. The consensus target is just $116, and Wednesday’s closing trade was $116.49. Shares were trending higher in Thursday’s premarket.

Datto Holding Corp (NYSE: MSP) was raised from Equal Weight to Overweight with a $35 price objective at Barclays. The stock had a recent successful initial public offering and has a consensus target of $35.64. The final trade Wednesday hit the tape at $26.90. Shares traded almost 3% higher in the premarket.

Gilead Sciences Inc. (NASDAQ: GILD) saw its target price lowered at Oppenheimer from $105 to $100, but the analysts did maintain an Outperform rating on the biotech leader. The consensus target price is $72.96. Shares closed at $58.94 on Wednesday.