The futures were mixed on Friday following yet another day where the Dow Jones industrials printed a new all-time high and the S&P 500, Nasdaq and Russell 2000 all rallied off mid-day lows to post solid gains. The surprisingly low jobs report number of 266,000 was a shock to Wall Street, which had a consensus number of 965,000 and a high estimate of 2.1 million jobs. The concern for many was that an impressive jobs additions report would press the Federal Reserve to taper quantitative easing bond purchases sooner than expected, but this number should quell that fear for now.
Despite the taper concerns and clear inflationary pressures, the Federal Reserve is vowing to keep interest rates contained, which could be one reason for the continued moves higher in the equity markets, even after sell-offs. Note also 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 balance of the second quarter and the rest of 2021.
24/7 Wall St. reviews dozens of analyst research reports each day of the week, seeking 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 Friday, May 7, 2021.
Air Products and Chemicals Inc. (NYSE: APD): Barclays downgraded the shares to Equal Weight from Overweight but raised the price target to $310. The consensus target is lower at $304.90. The stock was last seen Thursday at $293.65.
Albemarle Corp. (NYSE: ALB): JPMorgan upgraded the stock to Neutral from Underweight and also raised the price target to $152. The posted consensus target is $153.72, and the shares were last seen Thursday at $152.85, which was down almost 9% for the day.
Azul S.A. (NYSE: AZUL): Seaport Global Securities raised its Neutral rating to Buy. The shares have traded in a 52-week range of $5.50 to $25.84 and have a $19.77 consensus price objective. The stock closed on Thursday at $21.22 a share.