Friday's Top Analyst Upgrades and Downgrades: Alaska Air, Biogen, Cirrus Logic, Lennar, Match, Occidental and United Airlines

Friday’s futures took a turn for the worse after the broad markets had a somewhat mixed performance on Thursday. There was a large push by the tech sector, putting the Nasdaq within striking distance of all-time highs. All the major banks, industrials and energy stocks took a hit on Thursday, largely due to Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell’s remarks. Although inflation seems to be looming, the Fed is focusing more on near-term unemployment and repairing supply chains as the United States reopens.

Despite the resurfacing concerns across Wall Street for tapering of the quantitative easing program and a clear building of inflationary pressures, the Federal Reserve is vowing to keep interest rates contained. That could be one reason for the continued moves higher in the equity markets, even after sell-offs. Also note 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 coming 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 Friday, June 18, 2021.

Abiomed Inc. (NASDAQ: ABMD): Deutsche Bank initiated coverage with a Buy rating and a $360 price target. Shares closed Thursday near $313 apiece, in a 52-week range of $234.39 to 387.40. The consensus price target is $374.00.

Alaska Air Group Inc. (NYSE: ALK): Wolfe Research upgraded it to an Outperform rating from Peer Perform. The stock was last seen near $63, in a 52-week range of $33.00 to $74.25. The consensus price target is $82.00.

Biogen Inc. (NASDAQ: BIIB): Piper Sandler upgraded the stock to Overweight from Neutral and raised the price target to $450 from $384. The stock closed near $383, in a 52-week range of $223.25 to $468.55. Analysts have a consensus price target of $405.41 for the stock.

Cardlytics Inc. (NASDAQ: CDLX): Needham initiated coverage with a Buy rating and a $135 price target. The consensus price target is $146.00, and the stock closed at around $111 per share. The 52-week trading range is $55.89 to $161.47.

Churchill Downs Inc. (NASDAQ: CHDN): Macquarie started coverage with an Outperform rating and a $254 price target. The stock closed near $192, in a 52-week range of $121.56 to $258.32.

Cirrus Logic Inc. (NASDAQ: CRUS): Loop Capital initiated coverage with a Buy rating and a $111 price target. The shares last closed near $80, and the consensus price target is $99.27.

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