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Friday's Top Analyst Upgrades and Downgrades: Bank of New York, Canoo, Cigna, Fiserv, Merck, Progressive, Robinhood, Wayfair and More

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The futures were down across the board Friday, after a risk-off Thursday that saw the Nasdaq get crushed. With the Federal Reserve laying out its plans for interest rate increases, including three now expected for both 2022 and 2023, and a doubling of the tapering of the quantitative easing program to $30 billion per month, many feel Wall Street now knows what to expect going forward. Top strategists noted on Thursday that the meeting removed a key overhang on a market that had been positioned defensively, perhaps expecting an even more hawkish tone. While this could be just the ticket to pave the way for support from a seasonal tailwind or “Santa Claus Rally,” that doesn’t look to be starting right away.

With much of the Fed initiatives now baked in, Wall Street strategists are continuing to focus on big increases in energy and food costs and other spiraling inflation issues. The ongoing supply chain concerns and stagflation worries remain front and center.

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 Friday, December 17, 2021.

Bank of New York Mellon Corp. (NYSE: BK): JPMorgan upgraded the banking giant to Overweight from Neutral and lifted the target price to $67.50 from $62.50. The consensus target is $63.41. The stock was last seen on Thursday at $58.42, after close to a 3% gain on the day.

Canoo Inc. (NASDAQ: GOEV): Roth Capital raised its Neutral rating to Buy and lifted the $9 target price to $14. The consensus target is $12. The last trade on Thursday came in was at $8.42 per share.

Cigna Corp. (NYSE: CI): Morgan Stanley downgraded the healthcare leader to Equal Weight from Overweight and dropped the price target to $238 from $255. The consensus target is $260.72. The final trade Thursday was filled at $218.67.


Fiserv Inc. (NASDAQ: FISV): The Edward Jones upgrade was to Buy from Hold. Over the past 52 weeks, the stock has traded between $92.06 and $127.34, and it has a consensus target of $132.07. The final trade on Thursday was reported at $104.82.

Generac Holdings Inc. (NYSE: GNRC): BofA Securities raised the shares from Neutral to Buy with a $475 target price. The consensus target is up at $522.94. The stock closed at $350.04, which was down almost 2% for the day.

Humana Inc. (NYSE: HUM): Morgan Stanley downgraded the stock to Equal Weight from Overweight and lowered the price target to $530 from $559. The $504.46 consensus target is closer to Thursday’s closing share price of $457.47.

Invesco Ltd. (NYSE: IVZ): BofA Securities resumed coverage of the money management giant with a Neutral rating and a $26 price target. The shares have traded as high as $29.71 in the past year but closed Thursday at $22.71.

Lear Corp. (NYSE: LEA): While Wells Fargo downgraded the stock to Equal Weight from Overweight, it also lifted the $191 target price to $195. The consensus target is $192.63. The shares ended trading on Thursday at $177.59.

Merck & Co. Inc. (NYSE: MRK): Daiwa Securities started coverage of the pharmaceutical giant with a Neutral rating and a $70 price objective. The consensus target is $92.98 and the most recent close was at $75.91 a share.


Northern Oil and Gas Inc. (NYSE: NOG): BofA Securities upgraded the energy stock to Buy from Neutral and has a $28 price target. The consensus target is up at $32.31. The stock closed at $18.52 on Thursday.

ONEOK Inc. (NYSE: OKE): Wells Fargo’s downgrade to Equal Weight from Overweight included a target price trim from $72 to $66. The consensus target is $65.57. The final trade on Thursday was reported at $58.31 a share.

Penske Automotive Group Inc. (NYSE: PAG): Zacks named this as the Bull of the Day stock. The analyst points out that the car business is red hot with no signs of slowing down. The stock most recently closed at $100.92 and has a consensus price target of $130.00, which would be an all-time high.

Progressive Corp. (NYSE: PGR): Keefe Bruyette downgraded the shares to Underperform from Market Perform and lowered the $95 target price slightly to $92. The consensus target for the insurance heavyweight is $97.00. The shares closed at $103.02 on Thursday.
RingCentral Inc. (NYSE: RNG): Morgan Stanley downgraded the stock to Equal Weight from Overweight and slashed its price target to $220 from $390. The consensus target is up at $372.92. The stock was last seen on Thursday at $177.80.

Robinhood Markets Inc. (NASDAQ: HOOD): BofA Securities started coverage of the new-age broker-dealer with an Underperform rating and a $22 price target. The consensus target is much higher at $43.37. Thursday’s final trade was reported at $18.14, after a retreat of almost 7% on the day.

Ross Stores Inc. (NASDAQ: ROST): Truist Securities started coverage of the bargain retail consumer favorite with a Buy rating and a $136 price target. The consensus target is $138.06. The shares closed on Thursday at $109.27.

Tradeweb Markets Inc. (NASDAQ: TW): BofA Securities resumed coverage with a Buy rating and a $117 price target. The consensus target is $101.25, and the stock closed on Thursday at $94.33.

Veeva Systems Inc. (NYSE: VEEV): Morgan Stanley’s downgrade to Equal Weight from Overweight included a target price cut to $280 from $330. The consensus target is $326.48. The last trade on Thursday was posted at $254.23, which was down almost 4% for the day.

Wayfair Inc. (NYSE: W): Needham started coverage with a Buy rating and a $280 price objective, The consensus target is $285.38. The shares closed on Thursday at $189.51, down almost 9% after analysts speculated the company will not hit earnings estimates.

Yandex N.V. (NASDAQ: YNDX): HSBC Securities raised the Russian internet giant to Buy from Hold and nudged the $76 target price to $77. The consensus target is $63.55. The last trade for Thursday was reported at $62.55 per share.


One industry that loves rising interest rates is banking. Five top bank stocks are rated Buy at top Wall Street firms and pay the highest solid and dependable dividends. They are among the best ideas for growth and income investors looking for where to move capital and resources for 2022.

Thursday’s early top analyst upgrades and downgrades included Airbnb, Citigroup, Edwards Lifesciences, Huntsman, KeyCorp, McDonald’s, Netflix, Peloton, Southwest Airlines, Starbucks, Twitter, Under Armour, UPS and Walt Disney. Analyst calls seen later in the day were on AT&T, Ford, GM, Shopify and more.

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