Monday's Top Analyst Upgrades and Downgrades: American Express, Capital One, Levi Strauss, Pinterest, Peloton, Synchrony, T-Mobile and More

Monday morning futures were off to a positive start. Last week was fairly positive, ending the week on a strong note with a positive message from the Federal Reserve’s Jackson Hole Symposium. Now investors are turning their focus to the August employment report coming this Friday to see is the economic recovery is keeping pace.

For the employment report, analysts are targeting a “robust” 750,000 jobs coming back in August, according to Bloomberg. Note that his is still an impressive number by prepandemic standards, but it does demonstrate a deceleration from July’s report, which saw an increase of 943,000 jobs. Also, analysts are expecting the unemployment rate to narrow to 5.2% in August from July’s reported 5.4%.

While many expect the report to be a fairly positive one, it will still reflect the surge in coronavirus cases that we saw across the United States over the past month. It goes without saying that the Fed also will be monitoring these numbers, per its dual mandate, and the report could influence the Fed’s monetary policy to come later this year. For now, the labor market appears to be improving and the Fed policy is favorable.

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 Monday, August 30, 2021.

Alliance Data Systems Corp. (NYSE: ADS): Seaport Global Securities initiated coverage with a Buy rating and a $121 price target. That compares with a $126.13 consensus target and Friday’s close at $97.88.

American Express Co. (NYSE: AXP): Seaport Global Securities started coverage with a Neutral rating. That compares with a $182.37 consensus target and Friday’s close at $168.65.

Brinker International Inc. (NYSE: EAT): Stifel downgraded the stock to a Hold rating from Buy and cut the price target to $55 from $62. The $68.03 consensus target is higher than Friday’s close at $54.80.

Capital One Financial Corp. (NYSE: COF): Robert Baird downgraded it to Underperform from Neutral and has a $145 price target. Seaport Global Securities also initiated coverage with a Neutral rating. Shares last closed at $175.80, and the consensus price target is $183.18.

Cardlytics Inc. (NASDAQ: CDLX): Zacks selected this as its Bear of the Day stock, saying that the bulls have to do damage control after poor earnings guidance. The shares last closed at $91.16, and the consensus price target is $105.00.

Dave & Buster’s Entertainment Inc. (NASDAQ: PLAY): Stifel downgraded it to a Hold rating from Buy and cut the price target to $40 from $58. Shares most recently closed at $38.28 and have a consensus price target of $52.33.

EOG Resources Inc. (NYSE: EOG): Truist’s downgrade was to Hold from Buy. Shares last closed at $69.63, but they have traded as high as $87.99 in the past year.

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