The futures were trading higher on Thursday as investors cheered huge earnings blowouts from the banks and brokerage firms as first-quarter results kicked off with a bang. Both the Dow Jones industrials and the S&P 500 printed intraday all-time record highs. In addition, once again the transports showed some life closing higher, and as we have noted, that is a very positive sign for the economy.
Top strategists across Wall Street continue to point to the broad reopening of the economy, the tailwind from the stimulus package and the continued Federal Reserve pledges to keep interest rates contained as reasons for the continued moves higher in the equity markets. It also should be noted that money markets continue to see massive inflows, which is another big plus.
With major 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 2021.
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 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 Thursday, April 15, 2021.
Abbott Laboratories (NYSE: ABT): Atlantic Equities started the pharmaceutical giant with a Neutral rating and a $122 price target. The consensus target is higher at $135.67, and the shares closed Wednesday at $121.50.
Anheuser-Busch Inbev S.A./N.V. (NYSE: BUD): Barclays raised the beer titan to Overweight from Equal Weight. The shares have traded in a 52-week range of $37.93 to $72.41 and have a consensus price objective of $74.14. The final trade on Wednesday was reported at $65.16.
Armada Hoffler Properties Inc. (NYSE: AHH): D.A. Davidson raised its rating from Neutral to Buy with a $16 price target. The consensus target is $14.25, and shares closed on Wednesday at $12.95.
Bed Bath & Beyond Inc. (NYSE: BBBY): Telsey Advisory Group reiterated its rating on the retailer with Market Perform status and lowered the price target to $30 from $40. That compares with the $27.42 consensus and Wednesday’s close of $24.52, which was down over 12% after the company posted very disappointing earnings results.