Friday's Top Analyst Upgrades and Downgrades: American Express, Cloudera, Diamondback Energy, Discover Financial, GM, UnitedHealth and More

The futures were mostly higher as investors get ready to wrap up the holiday-shortened trading week after a big risk-off Thursday that saw all of the major indexes and the transportation index take a pounding. The biggest buzz across Wall Street remains the plunge in interest rates, and while some are attributing the bond rally to being more of a technical nature than fundamental, others are suggesting the possibility that the reopening could run into a wall with the spread of the COVID-19 delta variant.

Despite the added 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. 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 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, July 9, 2021.

Align Technology Inc. (NASDAQ: ALGN): Stephens upgraded the shares to Overweight from Equal Weight and also raised the price target to $700 from $600. The posted consensus price target is $698. The shares closed Thursday at $616.79.

Alliant Energy Corp. (NYSE: LNT): BofA Securities downgraded the shares to Neutral from Buy and have a $58 price target. The consensus price objective is higher at $60.89. The shares were last seen Thursday at $56.84.

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