Wednesday's Top Analyst Upgrades and Downgrades: Intel, Kohl's, New Gold, Paramount, Vodafone, and More

Wednesday morning futures trended lower, seemingly reflecting concerns regarding the Delta variant, as well as the week jobs number that came out last Friday. The August employment report saw a huge miss that was reflected primarily in hospitality, leisure and bars/restaurants, all major industries that are front-facing COVID-19. However, the Nasdaq and tech in general have been resilient, and it remains to be seen if they can keep up with this climate.

Analysts were targeting a “robust” 750,000 jobs coming back in August, according to Bloomberg, compared to the reported number to 235,000. 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 were correct in predicting the unemployment rate to narrowing to 5.2% in August from July’s reported 5.4%.

While many expected the report to be a fairly positive one, it still reflected 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 Wednesday, September 8, 2021.

Crane Co. (NYSE: CR): BofA Securities resumed coverage with a Buy rating and a $123 price target. Shares closed most recently at $95.10 apiece and have a consensus price target of $120.00.

Goosehead Insurance Inc. (NASDAQ: GSHD): Truist initiated coverage with a Hold rating and a $155 price target. The shares most recently closed at $148.83 and have a consensus price target of $141.60.

Intel Corp. (NASDAQ: INTC): Deutsche Bank resumed coverage with a $58 price target. Shares last closed at $53.65, and the consensus price target is $62.59.

Kohl’s Corp. (NYSE: KSS): Zacks named this as its Bull of the Day stock. The analyst says that this department store chain just posted record earnings, and its outlook is even brighter. Shares last closed at $55.05, and the consensus price target is $67.14.

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