Top Analyst Upgrades and Downgrades: Altria, AMC Networks, American Tower, Etsy, FedEx, Lyft, Nike, Nikola and More

The futures were mixed on Friday. The Nasdaq almost was pushed back into correction territory Thursday, before all the indexes rallied into the close and ended higher. With the ongoing selling from the $61 billion dollar pension rebalance the quarter and month end, it appears that every time indexes have rallied this week many of those stock bids were hit and hit hard.

Top strategists on Wall Street continue pointing to “bubble” metrics, like the massive “meme” retail stock and option trading by the WallStreetBets crowd, huge hedge fund leverage and IPOs that make no money as examples. Many of the Reddit stocks were the ones that were worked over this week.

With 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 1.

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 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, March 26, 2021.

Acuity Brands Inc. (NYSE: AYI) was raised to Outperform from Market Perform at William Blair. The shares have traded in a 52-week range of $70.55 to $147.67 and have a consensus price objective of $124.71. Thursday’s last trade was reported at $137.08, which was up over 4% for the day.

Altria Group Inc. (NYSE: MO) was upgraded to Buy from Hold at Jefferies, which also raised the price target on the cigarette giant to $58 from $40. The consensus price target is $49.67. The stock closed trading on Thursday at $50.19.

AMC Networks Inc. (NASDAQ: AMCX) was downgraded to Underweight from Equal Weight at Wells Fargo, which lowered the target price on the cable network to $52. The consensus target is in line at $51.99, and the stock closed Thursday trading at $60.87.

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