Wednesday's Top Analyst Upgrades and Downgrades: Beyond Meat, Boston Beer, Campbell Soup, Nordstrom, Okta, Owens Corning and Victoria’s Secret

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The futures were relatively muted on Wednesday, after investors cheered on a strong start to the week on both Monday and Tuesday. The S&P 500 and the Nasdaq are once again holding near new all-time highs, and many are wondering if this streak will continue. Also Wednesday morning, we saw more optimism on Wall Street as analysts are hiking their year-end targets for the S&P 500, with UBS taking a very bullish stance with a 5,000 target for the index.

Across Wall Street, the focus this week will be the commentary from Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell, who will be speaking via videoconference at the Fed’s annual Economic Policy Symposium on Friday in Jackson Hole, Wyoming.

Despite worries and the potential for a “taper tantrum” like we saw in 2013, the Federal Reserve is vowing to keep interest rates contained. Recent Fed commentary suggested the tapering of the $120 billion per month purchase of government and mortgage debt could be in the works by the end of the year and purchases could be completed by the end of 2022. That could become clearer this week.

With major Wall Street firms still warning of the potential for impending 5% to 10% correction across the board, which may have seen beginning last week, it makes sense for investors to continue building some cash reserves into any market strength while repositioning portfolios for the balance 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 Wednesday, August 25, 2021.

Adidas: Deutsche Bank upgraded the over-the-counter traded shares to Buy from Hold. The consensus target is $163.16. The shares closed on Tuesday at $179.31.

Alphatec Holdings Inc. (NASDAQ: ATEC): Needham initiated coverage with a Buy rating and an $18 price target. The consensus target is higher at $22.36. The final Tuesday trade was reported at $13.08.

Beyond Meat Inc. (NASDAQ: BYND): Argus downgraded the to a Hold rating from Buy. The consensus price objective is $121.43 and the stock closed Tuesday at $124.30.

Boston Beer Co. Inc. (NYSE: SAM): Cowen downgraded it to Underperform from Market Perform and cut the price target to $400 from $825. The shares have traded between $584.60 and $1,349.98 in the past year. The last trade on Tuesday was reported at $608.11.

Catabasis Pharmaceuticals Inc. (NASDAQ: CATB): H.C. Wainwright upgraded it from Neutral to Buy with a $13 price target. The consensus target is $5.50. The last trade on Tuesday was reported at $8.72.

Campbell Soup Co. (NYSE: CPB): Piper Sandler’s downgrade to Neutral from Overweight included a price target cut to $43 from $51. That compares with a $49.33 consensus target and Tuesday’s close at $42.02.

FactSet Research Systems Inc. (NYSE: FDS): The Barclays upgrade was to Overweight from Equal Weight, and the analyst raised the price target to $450 from $340. The $325.31 consensus target is less than Tuesday’s close at $367.64.

Nordstrom Inc. (NYSE: JWN): JPMorgan downgraded the stock to Underweight from Neutral and has a $34 price target. The shares have traded between $11.72 and $46.45 in the past year and closed Tuesday at $37.81.

Okta Inc. (NASDAQ: OKTA): The Raymond James upgrade to Strong Buy from Outperform included a price target rise to $310 from $300. Shares last closed at $247.55, but they have traded as high as $294.00 in the past year.

Owens Corning (NYSE: OC): Zacks points out that this stock has been down while estimates are on the rise. The analyst has selected this building products maker as its Bull of the Day. The shares most recently closed at $94.95 and have a consensus price target of $114.86.

Rent-A-Center Inc. (NASDAQ: RCII): BofA Securities initiated coverage with a Buy rating and an $85 price target. Over the past year, the stock has traded between $27.83 and $66.70, and it has a $73.86 consensus target. The last trade for Tuesday was reported at $64.95.

Rover Group Inc. (NASDAQ: ROVR): Stifel started it with a Buy rating and a $14 price target. The closing share price on Tuesday was $11.29. The post-IPO trading range is $8.60 to $13.26.

Theravance Biopharma Inc. (NASDAQ: TBPH): Morgan Stanley lowered its Overweight rating to Underweight and cut the price target to $14 from $28. The last trade for Tuesday hit the tape at $9.24. Analysts have a consensus price target of $29.67 for the stock.

Univar Solutions Inc. (NYSE: UNVR): Berenberg upgraded it to a Buy rating from Hold and raised the price target to $28 from $25. The stock was last seen on Tuesday trading at $23.12, in a 52-week range of $15.70 to $28.00.

Victoria’s Secret & Co. (NYSE: VSCO): Barclays initiated coverage with an Overweight rating and a $100 price target. The shares most recently closed at $67.39 and have a consensus price target of $87.60.

Five safe dividend-paying stocks may not be immune to a correction, but chances are good they will hold up better than crowded technology or meme stocks. Even if a recovery in their share prices takes a while, the high dividends will make the wait tolerable.

Tuesday’s early top analyst upgrades and downgrades included Bath & Body Works, Cummins, Coinbase Global, Planet Fitness, Reliance Steel, Shift Technologies, Steel Dynamics and Vertex. More analyst calls were seen later in the day, including on Palo Alto Networks, Victoria’s Secret.

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