Apple, Caterpillar, J C Penney Upgraded

Analysts took an upbeat attitude toward shares of Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL), Caterpillar Inc. (NYSE:CAT), and J C Penney Company Inc (NYSE:JCP)

by Karee Venema

Published on Feb 13, 2017 at 9:22 AM

Analysts are weighing in on iPhone parent Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL), construction giant Caterpillar Inc. (NYSE:CAT), and retail stock J C Penney Company Inc (NYSE:JCP). Here's a roundup of today's bullish brokerage notes on AAPL, CAT, and JCP shares.

Apple Shares Near New Highs on Price-Target Hike

Shares of AAPL are up 0.7% in pre-market trading, after Goldman Sachs raised its price target to $150 from $133 -- never-before-seen territory. This echoes the recent optimism levied toward the tech stock, with a number of brokerage firms targeting record highs for Apple Inc. stock last week. More broadly, AAPL has added 14.1% in 2017, and hit a fresh annual high of $132.94 on Friday before closing at $132.12. In the options pits, short-term speculators have rarely been as put-skewed toward the stock as they are now, per AAPL's Schaeffer's put/call open interest ratio (SOIR) of 1.40 -- in the 99th annual percentile.

Caterpillar Stock Set to Jump on Evercore ISI Upgrade

Evercore ISI raised its rating on CAT to "buy" from "hold," sending shares of the Dow stock up 0.7% in electronic trading. This projected price action will be more of the same for CAT, which has surged 57% year-over-year to trade at $96.31, and more recently, bounced off its rising 80-day moving average after a quick pullback from its Jan. 27 annual high of $99.46. There's plenty of room for more analysts to upwardly revise their ratings, too, considering the majority still maintain a "hold" or "strong sell" recommendation on the shares. Another round of bullish brokerage notes could translate into a fresh burst of buying power for Caterpillar Inc.

J C Penney Shares Trade Higher on Bullish Morgan Stanley Note

JCP saw its rating raised to "equal weight" from "underweight" at Morgan Stanley -- a vote of confidence for the long-term laggard. While the shares are trading 2.7% higher ahead of the bell, they have still shed nearly 32% since hitting their most recent high of $10.74 in early December to linger near $7.14, and tagged a 12-month low of $6.35 on Jan. 30. Options traders, meanwhile, have been quick to initiate long calls over puts in recent weeks. At the International Securities Exchange (ISE), Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE), and NASDAQ OMX PHLX (PHLX), J C Penney Company Inc's 10-day call/put volume ratio of 1.84 is ranked higher than 71% of all comparable readings taken in the past year.

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