Investing

50-Year Jobless Claims Record, and More Analyst Upgrades and Downgrades: Alcoa, Transocean, Vale and More

Markets edged higher to start Thursday, following some positive news in the labor market. Weekly jobless claims, announced early Thursday, came in at 187,000, which is a low not seen in the past 50 years. Consensus estimates were calling for around 210,000. New jobless claims are at their lowest level since September 1969, and continuing claims fell to 1.35 million, the lowest level since 1970.

Even though there is obvious strength in the labor market as more Americans are returning to work, inflation is still a top concern for many. Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell has been fairly sanguine on the labor market recently, and this has contributed in part to the Fed’s decision to raise interest rates going forward.

24/7 Wall St. is reviewing more analyst calls seen on Thursday. We have included the latest call on each stock, as well as a recent trading history and the consensus targets among analysts. Note that analyst calls seen earlier in the day were on Adobe, Carnival, Nio, Nvidia, Startbucks and many more.

Alcoa Corp. (NYSE: AA): Morgan Stanley downgraded the stock to Equal Weight from Overweight but raised the price target to $100 from $78. The 52-week trading range is $27.55 to $95.79, and shares were trading near $93 on Thursday.

British American Tobacco PLC (NYSE: BTI): J.P. Morgan upgraded shares to Overweight from Neutral. The stock traded near $42 on Thursday. The 52-week range is $33.62 to $47.24.

Capital One Financial Corp. (NYSE: COF): Citigroup resumed coverage with a Buy rating and raised the $185 price target to $189. The 52-week trading range is $121.44 to $177.95, and shares were trading near $135 apiece on Thursday.

EOG Resources Inc. (NYSE: EOG): The TD Securities downgrade was from Buy to Hold with a $140 price target. The stock was trading near $122 on Thursday, and the 52-week range is $62.81 to $124.89.

iRobot Corp. (NASDAQ: IRBT): Northland Capital raised its Market Perform rating to Outperform with an $85 price target. Shares were trading near $68 on Thursday. The 52-week range is $53.10 to $125.35.

International Flavors & Fragrances Inc. (NYSE: IFF): Berenberg’s downgrade to Hold from Buy included a price target cut to $144 from $165. Shares were trading near $124 on Thursday. The 52-week range is $113.40 to $157.08.

Johnson Controls International PLC (NYSE: JCI): When Deutsche Bank upgraded the stock to Buy from Hold, it also trimmed the $80 price target to $79. Shares were trading near $65. The 52-week range is $58.15 to $81.77.

Logitech International S.A. (NASDAQ: LOGI): BofA Securities initiated coverage with a Buy rating and a $107 price target. The 52-week trading range is $67.36 to $140.17, and shares were trading near $76 on Thursday.

PaySign Inc. (NASDAQ: PAYS): Ladenburg Thalmann downgraded it to Neutral from Buy. The stock traded near $2 a share on Thursday. The 52-week range is $1.37 to $4.69.

Post Holdings Inc. (NYSE: POST): Truist lowered its Buy rating to Hold and slashed the 120 price target to $70. The 52-week trading range is $61.68 to $77.43, and shares were trading near $64 apiece on Thursday.

Reata Pharmaceuticals Inc. (NASDAQ: RETA): Goldman Sachs resumed coverage with a Buy rating and a $91 price target. The stock was trading near $38 on Thursday, and the 52-week range is $22.71 to $153.41.

Traeger Inc. (NYSE: COOK): Jefferies downgraded the shares to Hold from Buy, and the firm dropped the $25 price target to $7. Stifel’s downgrade was from Buy to Hold with a $7.50 price target. The stock was trading near $7 on Thursday, and the 52-week range is $6.82 to $32.59.

Transocean Inc. (NYSE: RIG): Pareto lifted its Sell rating to Hold with a $5 price target. The stock was trading near $4.50 on Thursday, and the 52-week range is $2.63 to $5.56.

S&P Global Inc. (NYSE: SPGI): Credit Suisse resumed coverage with an Outperform rating and a $495 price target. Shares were trading near $407 on Thursday. The 52-week range is $347.80 to $484.21.

Vale S.A. (NYSE: VALE): The Overweight rating at Morgan Stanley was lowered to Equal Weight, but the firm raised the price target to $22 from $19. Shares were trading near $20 on Thursday. The 52-week range is $11.16 to $23.18.

Werner Enterprises Inc. (NASDAQ: WERN): Wells Fargo upgraded the stock to Equal Weight from Underweight and raised the price target to $46 from $38. Shares were trading near $42. The 52-week range is $41.44 to $49.76.


With the first quarter about to end, many investors are reviewing their portfolios and making changes. Five Jefferies Franchise List picks make sense for growth and income investors looking to shift to a safer profile for the rest of what could be a very turbulent year.

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