The futures were down Friday, as we ready to end an extremely bad trading week for equites. While the S&P 500 and Nasdaq shook off the follow-through selling Thursday, the Dow Jones industrials closed lower. Friday’s options expiration could add more fuel to the selling fire. A massive amount of market stabilizing gamma in the S&P 500 and the Nasdaq is set to expire, so a large amount of sell programs could be triggered. Toss in the worries that the reopening strength is waning due to the Delta variant and that could push the selling even more.
Despite worries and the potential for a “taper tantrum” like we saw in 2013, the Federal Reserve is vowing to keep interest rates contained. Given the latest FOMC commentary, it is looking like the tapering of the $120 billion per month purchase of government and mortgage debt could indeed be in the works by the end of the year and purchases could be completed by the end of 2022.
With major Wall Street firms still warning of the potential for impending 5% to 10% correction across the board, which may have seen a beginning on Tuesday, 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, August 20, 2021.
CF Industries Holdings Inc. (NYSE: CF): HSBC Securities raised the stock to Buy from Hold and raised the price target to $59.50 from $57.00. The consensus target price is in line at $59.06. The last trade on Thursday hit the tape at $43.34, after retreating over 5% on the day.
Duke Energy Corp. (NYSE: DUK): RBC Capital Markets downgraded the utility to Sector Perform from Outperform and has a $109 price target. The consensus price objective is $107.10. The stock closed on Thursday at $106.88 a share. As it is trading just shy of a 52-week high, this looks like a valuation call.
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