Thursday's Top Analyst Upgrades and Downgrades: Charles Schwab, Datadog, Deere, Dish Network, Etsy, Freeport-McMoRan, Regions Financial and More

The futures were being hammered across the board on Thursday after both the S&P 500 and the Nasdaq once again posted new all-time highs on Wednesday. Investors continue to watch the massive drop in long-term interest rates as both the 10-year and 30-year U.S. Treasury bond yields have dropped to levels not seen since back in the winter. With mortgage applications falling to the lowest level since before the pandemic hit, this could spur a new round of refinancing and purchases. The release Wednesday of the mostly dovish Federal Reserve meeting minutes could provide a tailwind for another day as we head into second-quarter earnings next week.

Despite the concerns across Wall Street about 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 among the reasons 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 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, July 8, 2021.

Align Technology Inc. (NASDAQ: ALGN): Exane BNP Paribas started coverage on the shares with an Outperform rating and a $790 price target. The Wall Street consensus price target for the stock is $698. The shares were last seen on Wednesday at $612.22.

Bank of California Inc. (NASDAQ: BANC): Stephens initiated coverage with an Equal Weight rating and a $19 price target. The consensus price objective is up at $22.65. The shares closed Wednesday at $16.70.

Beyond Meat Inc. (NASDAQ: BYND): Zacks named this as its Bear of the Day stock, saying that a compelling story cannot make up for economic challenges and a sky-high valuation at this maker of plant-based meat substitutes. Shares last closed at $140.34 apiece, but the consensus price target is just $125.77.

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