The futures were trading lower on Thursday as investors focused on Federal Reserve Chair Jay Powell’s comments to Congress, especially when discussing the recent inflation readings, which are coming in at some of the highest levels in years. Two of the major indexes closed higher, with the S&P 500 once again posting an all-time high, while the Nasdaq and the Russell 2000 closed lower.
U.S. wholesale prices surged again in June, signaling that a recent bout of high inflation likely will last at least through the summer. The Producer Price Index jumped 1% last month, a much higher reading than Wall Street expectations. The reason for the consistent worry across Wall Street is that the overall pace of wholesale inflation over the past 12 months moved to 7.3% from 6.6% in May. That’s the highest level since the index was overhauled in 2010, and likely one of the highest readings in 40 years.
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 Thursday, July 15, 2021.
Acutus Medical Inc. (NASDAQ: AFIB): Canaccord Genuity upgraded it to Buy from Hold and raised the price target to $18 from $11. The consensus target is $20, and Wednesday’s last trade came in at $15.05.
Advanced Micro Devices Inc. (NASDAQ: AMD): Citigroup raised its rating on the chip leader to Neutral from Sell and amazingly hiked the price target all the way to $95 from $17. The posted consensus target is $104.79. The stock closed trading on Wednesday at $89.05.