Stocks experienced a major recovery on Wednesday after opening down 2% early in the day. After closing positive on the day, the futures markets were pointing to a higher open on Thursday by about 0.5% on average. The bull market may be over nine years old, and the trend of buying pullbacks that worked over and over has run into headwinds as sellers and volatility have an easier time coming out on top. All this is making it ever harder for investors to decide how they want their assets positioned for the rest of 2018 and beyond.
24/7 Wall St. reviews dozens of analyst research reports each day of the week. Our goal is to find new ideas for investors and traders alike. Some of the daily analyst reports cover stocks to buy. Others cover stocks to sell or to avoid.
Additional color and commentary has been added on most of the daily analyst reports. The consensus analyst price targets and other valuation metrics are from the Thomson Reuters sell-side research service.
These were the top analyst upgrades, downgrades and other research calls from Thursday, April 5, 2018.
Advanced Micro Devices Inc. (NASDAQ: AMD) was started with a Neutral rating and assigned an $11 price target at UBS. On the other side of the coin, Stifel started AMD with a Buy rating. The shares closed up 2.35 at $9.77 on Wednesday but were indicated up 2.76% at $10.04 on Thursday. The 52-week trading range is $9.04 to $15.65, and the prior consensus target price was $14.39.
American Express Co. (NYSE: AXP) was started with a Buy rating and assigned a $110 price target at Citigroup. The stock closed up 0.9% at $93.58 on Wednesday and was indicated up 1.3% more at $94.80 on Thursday morning. Amex had a consensus target price of $108.08 ahead of this call.
Applied Materials Inc. (NASDAQ: AMAT) was started with a Neutral rating and assigned a $58 price target at UBS. Its shares closed up 2.9% at $55.56 on Wednesday, and the stock was indicated up 0.6% at $55.91 on Thursday. The consensus target price was $70.62 coming into the call.
AutoZone Inc. (NYSE: AZO) was raised to Outperform from Neutral and the price target was raised to $750 from $670 (versus a $628.65 prior close) at Wedbush Securities.
Biogen Inc. (NASDAQ: BIIB) was downgraded to Equal Weight from Overweight and the price target was slashed to $295 from $395 at Barclays. The shares closed up 2.2% at $272.40 on Wednesday, and the stock has a 52-week range of $244.28 to $370.57.
Broadcom Ltd. (NASDAQ: AVGO) was started with a Buy rating and assigned a $350 price target (versus a $236.99 close) at UBS. Its shares have a 52-week range of $208.44 to $285.68, and the consensus target price was $322.03. The stock was indicated up 1.6% at $240.88 on Thursday.
Citigroup Inc. (NYSE: C) was raised to Buy from Neutral and the price target was raised to $80 from $78 at UBS. Citigroup was up 1.2% at $69.31 on Wednesday, and the shares were indicated up 1.3% at $70.20 on Thursday. The 52-week range is $57.55 to $80.70.
Conatus Pharmaceuticals Inc. (NASDAQ: CNAT) was last seen down 28.5% at $4.30 after disappointing liver drug study news showed that the liver disease treatment did not meet its endpoints. Conatus has seen price target cuts at Oppenheimer and SunTrust Robinson Humphrey.
Discover Financial Services (NYSE: DFS) was started as Neutral with a $78 price target at Citigroup.
Finisar Corp. (NASDAQ: FNSR) was raised to Overweight from Equal Weight but the price target was cut to $20 from $21 at Morgan Stanley. The shares were indicated up 6.3% at $15.63.
Intel Corp. (NASDAQ: INTC) was started with a Buy rating and assigned a $70 price target at UBS. Yet, Stifel downgraded Intel to Hold from Buy. The shares closed up 0.5% at $49.99 on Wednesday and were indicated down 0.25% at $49.86 on Thursday. The 52-week range is $33.23 to $53.78.
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