Wednesday's Top Analyst Upgrades and Downgrades: Home Depot, Mastercard, McDonald's, Penn National Gaming, Starbucks, Take-Two Interactive and More

The futures were lower Wednesday, after a solid risk-off day that saw all the major indexes, the Russell 2000 and the transports end higher. Much of the positive move was prompted by some serious dip-buying activity on the top technology names, many of which have been absolutely hammered this year. Solid earnings and guidance from big retailers and the top airline stocks was also a strong tailwind. Another huge plus was the news that COVID-19 restrictions in Shanghai and Hong Kong will be relaxed, which could help the ongoing supply chain issues.

Another bit of good news for consumers was that oil prices, which have been on a tear the past week, backed up some Tuesday. Both Brent and West Texas Intermediate crude closed down, while natural gas continued its climb, closing up almost 5%, over the $8 mark again.

Yields were up across the Treasury curve, with the 10-year note moving back toward the 3% level. Gold closed the day lower, while Bitcoin traded marginally higher but closed under $30,000.

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 Wednesday, May 18, 2022.

Alliant Energy Corp. (NASDAQ: LNT): BofA Securities raised its Underperform rating to Neutral and slid the $57 target price up to $60. The consensus target is $64.33. The stock was last seen on Tuesday trading at $59.75.

Camden Property Trust (NYSE: CPT): Goldman Sachs downgraded the shares to Neutral from Buy and lowered the $172 price objective to $158. The consensus target is $181.90. The shares closed on Tuesday at $143.17.

Cooper Inc. (NYSE: COO): Though Citigroup upgraded the stock to Buy from Neutral, it also lowered the $460 target price to $405. The consensus target is $476. The stock closed almost 4% higher on Tuesday at $340.24.

Dillard’s Inc. (NYSE: DDS): Zacks selected this retailer as its Bull of the Day stock, citing its more than 1,400% surge since the March 2020 market bottom. The shares last closed at $323.89, which is up more than 32% year to date. However, the consensus target price is just $240.00.

Essex Property Trust Inc. (NYSE: ESS): Goldman Sachs boosted its Sell rating all the way to Buy, a double upgrade, but it trimmed the $352 target price to $338. The consensus target for the REIT giant is $360.77. The final trade for Tuesday was at $296.00 a share.

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