The futures traded flat on Wednesday as investors took yet another wild ride Tuesday as we opened up the market holiday-shortened week. The Dow Jones industrials, S&P 500 and Nasdaq once again all printed intraday all-time highs before slipping back. Investors continue to cheer the possibility of a big stimulus package becoming a reality, and fourth-quarter earnings have continued to come in very strong. Top analysts on Wall Street are pointing to “bubble” metrics, like the massive retail stock and option trading, huge hedge fund leverage and IPOs that don’t make money, and many are urging caution.
Though fourth-quarter earnings results are slowing, most across Wall Street still are not only examining the results but also looking to see what guidance for the balance of the first quarter and the rest of 2021 looks like. With stocks very overbought and many trades crowded, and major Wall Street firms warning of an impending 5% to 10% correction, it makes sense for investors to start building some cash reserves while repositioning portfolios for the rest of 2021.
24/7 Wall St. reviews dozens of analyst research reports each day of the week with the 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 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, February 17, 2021.
Agilent Technologies Inc. (NYSE: A) was raised at BofA Securities from Neutral to Buy with a $147 price target. The consensus target is lower at $126.59. Tuesday’s final trade came in at $127.95 a share.
Anterix Inc. (NASDAQ: ATEX) was upgraded to Overweight from Neutral at JPMorgan, which also raised the price target to $50. The higher consensus target is $73.25. The shares were last seen on Tuesday at $40.55, after an almost 6% gain for the day.
Bausch Health Companies Inc. (NYSE: BHC) was upgraded to Outperform from Sector Perform at RBC Capital Markets, which raised the price target to $42. The consensus target is $29.06. The stock closed on Tuesday at $31.32.
Bluebird Bio Inc. (NASDAQ: BLUE) was downgraded to Neutral from Overweight at JPMorgan, which lowered the price target to $39. The consensus target is a much higher $58.17. The stock closed Tuesday at $28.44, down a stunning 38% after safety concerns on the firm’s sickle cell gene therapy were noted. Shares were up 3% in Wednesday’s premarket.
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