The futures traded higher on Monday, the first trading day of a new month. While earnings are still coming in, 60% of the S&P 500 earnings have been posted, with an incredible 85% of the companies beating analyst estimates. The biggest data point this week will be Friday’s release of the April payroll numbers, and estimates across Wall Street range from the 965,000 consensus estimate to some as high as 2.1 million. All the major indexes closed in the red Friday, so clearly many were selling the news last week.
Despite inflationary pressures, the Federal Reserve vowed to keep interest rates contained, which could be one reason for the continued moves higher in the equity markets, even after sell-offs. 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 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 Monday, May 3, 2021.
Baker Hughes Co. (NYSE: BKR): Barclays upgraded the oilfield services giant to Overweight from Equal Weight and also raised the price target to $28. The consensus target is $27.48. The stock closed Friday at $20.08 a share.
Cactus Inc. (NYSE: WHD): Barclays upgraded the stock to Overweight from Equal Weight and raised the price target to $37. The posted consensus target is $33.55, and the shares closed on Friday at $29.81.
Carvana Co. (NYSE: CVNA): BofA Securities raised its Neutral rating to Buy and has a $350 price target. The consensus target is $310.50, and Friday’s final trade was at $285.26.
Chewy Inc. (NYSE: CHWY): Guggenheim started coverage with a Buy rating and a $95 price target. The consensus target for the online pet food company is up at $101.15. Friday’s closing trade was reported at $79.72.
DraftKings Inc. (NASDAQ: DKNG): Cowen upgraded it to Outperform from Market Perform and has a $70 price target. The consensus price objective for the popular sports betting site is $73.50. The stock closed Friday at $56.66.
Empire States Realty Trust Inc. (NASDAQ: ESRT): Evercore ISI raised both the rating (to Outperform from Market Perform) and the price target (to $13). The consensus target is $11.93, and the shares ended trading on Friday at $11.39.
Fidelity National Financial Inc. (NYSE: FNF): Credit Suisse started the insurance provider with an Outperform rating and a $56 price target. That compares with the lower $52 consensus and Friday’s last trade of $45.62.
Graphic Packaging Holding Co. (NYSE: GPK): Morgan Stanley’s downgrade to Equal Weight from Overweight came with a $20 price target. The consensus target is $21, and the stock closed Friday at $18.55.
Halliburton Co. (NYSE: HAL): Barclays upgraded the oilfield services leader to Overweight from Equal Weight. The firm also raised the price target to $29. The consensus price objective is just $22.62, and the stock closed on Friday at $19.56.
Hartford Financial Services Group Inc. (NYSE: HIG): BofA Securities resumed coverage with a Neutral rating and a $75 price objective. The consensus target is in line $75.08. Friday’s last trade came in at $65.96.
Medical Properties Trust Inc. (NYSE: MPW): RBC Capital Markets downgraded the stock to Sector Perform from Outperform and also lowered the price target to $23. The posted consensus target is $24.17, and the stock closed Friday at $22.05 a share.
Raytheon Technologies Corp. (NYSE: RTX): Ladenburg Thalman’s Neutral rating on the aerospace and defense giant was raised to Buy, with a $100 price target. The lower $92 consensus also compares to Friday’s closing print of $83.24.
Tenet Healthcare Corp. (NYSE: THC): Goldman Sachs started coverage with a Buy rating and an $89 price target. The consensus price objective is just $64.54, and the stock closed at $59.26 on Friday.
U.S. Physical Therapy Inc. (NYSE: USPH): Jefferies raised the shares to Buy from Hold. Its $115 target price is lower than the consensus target of $118.33, and the stock closed trading Friday at $112.45.
VICI Properties Inc. (NASDAQ: VICI): Morgan Stanley downgraded the gambling real estate properties company to Equal Weight from Overweight. However, the firm raised its price target on the shares to $33. The consensus target is $32.16, and Friday’s closing print was $31.70. As shares are trading right below the 52-week high, this could be a valuation call.
Weyerhaeuser Co. (NYSE: WY): Stephens downgraded it to Equal Weight from Overweight and has a $35 price objective The consensus target is up at $38.72, and the last trade to hit the tape Friday came in at $38.77.
Welltower Inc. (NYSE: WELL): RBC Capital Markets upgraded the shares to Outperform from Sector Perform and raised the price target to $82. The consensus target is $72.67, and the last trade on Friday was posted at $75.03.
W.P. Carey Inc. (NYSE: WPC): As Evercore ISI upgraded the stock to Outperform from In Line, it also lifted the price target to $80. The consensus target is $74.93, and the stock ended Friday’s trading session at $74.89.
Aggressive investors may want to look at these four Buy-rated semiconductor stocks offering great entry points after the companies posted stellar numbers and the shares sold off.
Friday’s early top analyst upgrades and downgrades included AvalonBay Communities, Bristol-Myers Squibb, Carrier, Comcast, CyrusOne, DraftKings, Nvidia and Textron. Analyst calls seen later in the day were on Amazon.com, CME, Gilead Sciences, Twitter and more.
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