Top Analyst Upgrades and Downgrades: AbbVie, Alcoa, Applied Materials, Fox, Merck, Paychex, ViacomCBS and More

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The futures were lower on Wednesday as investors digested yet another all-time high from the S&P 500 that was printed intraday before all the indexes flipped red in the final hour of trading and all ended lower. Top strategists across Wall Street continue to point to the broad reopening of the economy, the tailwind from the stimulus package and continued Federal Reserve pledges to keep interest rates contained as reasons for the continued moves higher in the equity markets. Note that money markets continue to see massive inflows, which is another big plus.

While top strategists on Wall Street continue pointing to “bubble” metrics, like the massive “meme” retail stock and options trading by the WallStreetBets and Robinhood crowds, 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 Wednesday, April 7, 2021.

AbbVie Inc. (NYSE: ABBV) was resumed in coverage at RBC Capital Markets with a $135 price target. The consensus target for the pharmaceutical giant is lower at $122.17, and the stock closed trading on Tuesday at $105.38.

Alcoa Corp. (NYSE: AA) was named the Zacks Bull of the Day stock. The firm said that this stock is set up to stampede out of the gates as earnings season kicks off. Shares last closed at $31.31, but the consensus price target is just $28.73.

Applied Materials Inc. (NASDAQ: AMAT) saw its target price raised to $160 from $145 at Wells Fargo. The analysts at Cowen also raised their price target to $160. The consensus target for the semiconductor capital equipment leader is $144.35, and the stock closed most recently at $139.54.

Anheuser Busch Inbev S.A./N.V. (NYSE: BUD) was named the Zacks Bear of the Day stock. The firm suggested sticking with the beer because the stock could lead to severe hangovers. Shares last closed at $63.90 and have a consensus price target of $74.14.

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