The futures were lower across the board as the end of a busy trading week approaches and following a month that saw a flood of major earnings reports come in, with many companies posting very positive results. Continuing and initial jobless claims came in higher than expected, while the first estimate for second-quarter gross domestic product came in much lower than expected, at 6.5% versus the Wall Street estimates for 8.5%. Supply chain issues were once again cited as a disrupting force in the data. All the major indexes closed up Thursday, with both the Dow Jones industrial average and the S&P 500 hitting new all-time highs.
While the Federal Reserve did not raise rates earlier this week, many across Wall Street remain leery of the beginning of the tapering of the quantitative easing program after the clear building of inflationary pressures, despite the fact 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 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 30, 2021.
Advanced Micro Devices Inc. (NASDAQ: AMD): This was named as the Bull of the Day stock at Zacks. The analyst said that the semiconductor company raised guidance again because its teams continue to execute and win market share. Shares most recently closed at $102.95 and have a consensus price target of $104.79.
Albany International Corp. (NYSE: AIN): BofA Securities upgraded the stock to Buy from Neutral and has a $105 price target. The consensus target is just $90.50. The final trade for Thursday came in at $85.63.