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Thursday's Top Analyst Upgrades and Downgrades: AMD, Clover Health, Peloton, Starbucks, Unilever and More

Thursday morning futures were edging higher as weekly jobless claims reached a pandemic-era low. Markets had a strong start to Wednesday but slumped lower as the day went on. Part of this was due to ADP’s monthly payroll report, which showed only 374,000 private payrolls returned for the month of August, which was a big miss from the 625,000 that analysts expected. It all comes down to the jobs. Again, investors are looking forward to Friday to see what the August employment report holds, and after the ADP report, they’re expecting some deceleration.

For the employment report, analysts are targeting a “robust” 750,000 jobs coming back in August, according to Bloomberg. Note that this is still an impressive number by prepandemic standards, but it does demonstrate a deceleration from July’s report, which saw 943,000 jobs added. 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 Federal Reserve 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, 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 Thursday, September 2, 2021.

Advanced Micro Devices Inc. (NASDAQ: AMD): Zacks named this as its Bull of the Day stock. The analyst says that AMD has taken the world of advanced chip technology by storm, with revolutionary CEO Lisa Su transforming this discount semiconductor enterprise into a leading-edge innovator. Shares last closed at $109.99, and the consensus price target is $114.37.