American Express (NYSE: AXP) Jumps On Analyst Upgrade

Shares of American Express (NYSE: AXP) jumped more than 4 percent on Thursday following an analyst upgrade to the stock by financial advisory firm Sandler O’Neil.

The firm upgraded the stock to buy from hold, citing value after the stock’s recent pullback, down roughly 15 percent this month.  The firm also believes rebounding consumer spending bodes well for the credit card company’s prospects.

However, Sandler O’Neil did reduce its price target on the stock from $51 a share to $48 a share.  Shares of American Express are trading just shy of $40 a share in Thursday late afternoon trade.

Last month American Express reported first quarter earnings of 73 cents a share, more than doubling results from the prior year as credit losses slowed and transactions rose.

The financial sector is strong on a whole Thursday, up more than 3.5 percent, while the banking sector is trades 3.1 percent higher.