Investing

Top Analysts Upgrades and Downgrades: Amazon, Charter Communications, McDonald's, Plug Power, Seagate, Starbucks, Virgin Galactic and More

The futures were mixed this Wednesday, St. Patrick’s Day, as we saw the Nasdaq catch a bid Tuesday before backing up, and the S&P 500 hit an all-time intraday high before closing lower. The Dow Jones industrials finally saw a string of four days in a row where the venerable index hit all-time highs come to an end. With stimulus checks showing up in bank accounts, spring break upon us and the economy looking for a strong rebound, Wall Street strategists are becoming increasingly bullish on the potential for very strong economic growth this quarter and for the entire year.

Despite the strong gains, top strategists on Wall Street 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, so the current volatility may be here for some time.

Wall Street analysts have been examining earnings results and also looking to see what guidance for the balance of the first quarter and the rest of 2021 looks like. With major Wall Street firms still warning of the potential for impending 5% to 10% correction across the board, it makes sense for investors to continue building some cash reserves into the market strength, while repositioning portfolios for the start of the second quarter and 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 Wednesday, March 17, 2021.

Alcoa Corp. (NYSE: AA) was raised to Buy from Hold at Deutsche Bank, which has a $36 price target on the aluminum giant. The Wall Street consensus target is just $25.41. The stock closed trading on Tuesday at $29.52.

Altice USA Inc. (NYSE: ATUS) was started at Wells Fargo with an Equal Weight rating and a $33 price target. The consensus target is higher at $41.19, and the stock was last seen on Tuesday at $34.85.

Amazon.com Inc. (NASDAQ: AMZN) was added to the Fresh Picks list at Baird. Shares of the retail and technology giant have traded in a 52-week range of $1,745 to $3,552.25 and have a $3,999.36 consensus price target. The stock was last seen on Tuesday trading at $3,091.86.