Top Analyst Upgrades and Downgrades: AMC, Caesars, Ford, JetBlue, Microsoft, Palo Alto, Spotify, Tesla and More

The futures were higher across the board on Monday, as traders and investors returned from the long holiday weekend. Although markets were closed on Friday, Wall Street was presented with outstanding nonfarm payroll numbers for March that came in at a stunning 916,000, versus the much lower consensus of 675,000. That was the fastest growth since August 2020. Gains were strongest in leisure and hospitality, as the reopening grew almost daily, while construction jumped by a very bullish 110,000 and the unemployment rate declined to 6.0%.

While top strategists on Wall Street continue pointing to “bubble” metrics, like the massive “meme” retail stock and option trading by the WallStreetBets and Robinhood crowd, some say that volume is starting to wane. Most investors now will be turning their attention to first-quarter earnings results, which start in earnest next week.

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 Monday, April 5, 2021.

Acuity Brands Inc. (NYSE: AYI) was upgraded to Neutral from Sell at Goldman Sachs, which also raised the price target to $166 from $95. The posted consensus target is $157.29, and the stock closed most recently at $168.90 a share.

AMC Entertainment Holdings Inc. (NYSE: AMC) was upgraded to Buy from Neutral at B. Riley Securities, which raised the price target on the movie theatre giant to $13 from $7. The consensus target is $3.44. The most recent close was at $9.36 a share. The stock was up almost 4% in Monday’s premarket.

Bandwidth Inc. (NASDAQ: BAND) was raised at Morgan Stanley from Underweight to Equal Weight with a $40 price target. The consensus target is much higher at $194.38. The stock closed Thursday at $126.74.

Caesars Entertainment Inc. (NYSE: CZR) was raised at Morgan Stanley from Equal Weight to Overweight with a $92 price target. The consensus target is $100. The stock ended last week at $88.94 a share.

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