Thursday's Top Analyst Upgrades and Downgrades: Applied Materials, Bloom Energy, Corning, MetLife, PayPal, Plug Power, Shopify, Spotify, Texas Instruments and More

The futures were higher Thursday, after another wild day across Wall Street when the risk-on crowd finally thought they had a winning rally, but once again a total late-day reversal. All the major indexes closed down except the Nasdaq, which eked out a small gain after the Federal Reserve confirmed that rate hikes will begin in March and continue through the year and the massive balance sheet the Fed carries will start to be rolled off. Even with some solid earnings reports after disappointing numbers last week, and a very oversold market posture, the path of least resistance still looks like it is to the downside.

A big positive for investors and the economy is that the surge of Omicron cases appears to be peaking and starting to fall. The corporate stock buyback windows are starting to open back up, and that could put a supporting bid under the market. Some strategists even noted this week that stocks have performed reasonably well against an inflation backdrop and the prospect of continued rate hikes.

24/7 Wall St. reviews dozens of analyst research reports each day of the week with a goal of finding fresh 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 Thursday, January 27, 2022.

Applied Materials Inc. (NASDAQ: AMAT): KeyBanc Capital Markets started coverage of the legacy semiconductor capital equipment giant with a Sector Weight rating. Over the past 52 weeks, the stock has traded between $96.07 and $167.06, and it has a $173.22 consensus target. Wednesday’s closing trade was reported at $135.58.

Bloom Energy Corp. (NYSE: BE): Susquehanna began coverage with a Neutral rating and a $16 target price. The consensus target is much higher at $30.30. The final trade on Wednesday was reported at $14.49, which was down almost 5% for the day.

C.H. Robinson Worldwide Inc. (NASDAQ: CHRW): Barclays downgraded the stock to Equal Weight from Overweight and has a $108 target price. The consensus target is $107.35. The shares closed on Wednesday at $102.65.

Church & Dwight Co. Inc. (NYSE: CHD): Credit Suisse downgraded the stock from Outperform to Neutral with a $105 target price. The consensus target is $95.73. The closing share price on Wednesday was $98.95.

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