Top Analyst Upgrades and Downgrades: Abbott Labs, Amex, eBay, Exact Sciences, Lam Research, ServiceNow, Tesla, Twitter and More

The futures traded marginally essentially flat on Thursday, after a crazy trading day on Wall Street that saw big losses on all three major indexes and huge gains in individual stocks that have massive short interest. Top analysts on Wall Street are starting to point to “bubble” type metrics, with stunning gains in the short interest plays are an example, and many are urging caution. With fourth-quarter earnings reports continuing to stream in, most across Wall Street will not only be examining the results but looking to see what guidance for the first quarter and the rest of 2021 look like. With all the major indexes and the Russell 2000 still very close to all-time highs, it makes sense for investors to start building some cash reserves while repositioning portfolios 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, January 28, 2021.

Abbott Laboratories (NYSE: ABT) was raised from Neutral to Buy with a $140 price target at BTIG Research. The Wall Street consensus target is $125.94. The stock closed trading on Wednesday at $114.29.

American Express Co. (NYSE: AXP) was raised to Buy from Hold at DZ Bank, which has a $130 price objective. The consensus objective for the credit card giant is $130.76. Wednesday’s final trade hit the tape at $114.09.

BJ’s Wholesale Club Holdings Inc. (NYSE: BJ) was downgraded from Buy to Hold with a $52 price target at Gordon Haskett. The consensus target is $51.37 and the close on Wednesday was at $48.81, after an almost 7% gain for the day.

Big Lots Inc. (NYSE: BIG) was downgraded to Hold from Buy at Loop Capital. The shares have traded in a 52-week range of $10.13 to $65.11 and have a consensus price target of $53. With the stock closing up almost 20% on Wednesday at $65.05, this is very possibly a valuation call.

Brinker International Inc. (NYSE: EAT) was raised from Sector Weight to Overweight with a $64 price target at KeyBanc Capital Markets. The consensus target is in line at $64.04. The close on Wednesday was at $55.28, after an almost 12% retreat on the day.

Cheesecake Factory Inc. (NASDAQ: CAKE) was downgraded to Hold from Buy at Deutsche Bank, which has a $47 target for the popular casual dining restaurant. The consensus target is $37.31, and the shares closed at $49.91, almost 9% higher just on Wednesday. Despite the downgrade, the stock was up another 4% in Thursday’s premarket trading.

Colgate-Palmolive Co. (NYSE: CL) was downgraded to Hold from Buy at Stifel, which has a $53 price target for the consumer staples leader. The consensus target is $84.60, and the shares were last seen on Wednesday at $78.03.

eBay Inc. (NASDAQ: EBAY) was downgraded at Deutsche Bank from Buy to Hold with a $59 price target. The consensus target is higher at $62.71, and the closing price on Wednesday was $58.35 a share.

Exact Sciences Corp. (NASDAQ: EXAS) was started at Truist Securities with a Buy rating and a $226 target price. The consensus target is much lower $160.80. The shares were last seen on Wednesday at $136.85.

Invesco Ltd. (NYSE: IVZ) was upgraded at UBS from Neutral to Buy with a $24 price objective. That compares with the consensus objective of $22.04 and Wednesday’s final trade at $20.78.

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