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Top Analyst Upgrades and Downgrades: Apache, CME, Cree, On Semiconductor, Pioneer Natural Resources, Plug Power, Sony, Wayfair and More

The futures were up big on Monday, the first trading day of March, as investors embrace the U.S. House of Representatives passing the massive $1.9 trillion stimulus bill. This comes after a busy and wild week as spiking interest rates, which backed up on Friday in a big way, competed with huge swings in all of the indexes. Top analysts continue pointing to “bubble” metrics, like the massive “meme” retail stock and option trading, huge hedge fund leverage and IPOs that don’t make money as examples, and many are urging caution.

With fourth-quarter earnings results all but complete, most across Wall Street have not only been examining the final results but looking to see what guidance for the balance of the first quarter and the rest of 2021 looks like. With stocks very overbought, and major Wall Street firms still warning of the potential for impending 5% to 10% correction, it makes sense for investors to start building some cash reserves while repositioning portfolios for the rest of 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 Monday, March 1, 2021.

Apache Corp. (NASDAQ: APA) was downgraded from Outperform to Market Perform with a $20 price target at Bernstein. The consensus target for the energy company is $20.71. The shares closed Friday at $19.73 and traded up almost 3% in Monday’s premarket.

Bain Capital Specialty Finance Inc. (NYSE: BSCF) was raised at Wells Fargo from Underweight to Equal Weight with a $14 price target. The consensus target is $13.79. The shares were last seen on Friday at $14.06.

Beam Therapeutics Inc. (NASDAQ: BEAM) was downgraded to Equal Weight from Overweight at Barclays, which raised the price target to $90. The consensus target is $95.50. The last trade for Friday hit the tape at $89.31. The stock was up over 3% in premarket action.

CME Group Inc. (NYSE: CME) was raised to Market Perform from Underperform at Keefe Bruyette, which also raised the price target to $197. The consensus target is $193.59, and Friday’s close was at $199.70 a share.