Investing

With Jobless Claims Near 50-Year Low, Analysts Upgrade and Downgrade AMD, Dell, HP and More

Markets turned lower on Thursday but there has been fairly positive momentum recently. If markets close lower, that would snap a four-day winning streak, which also comes after two consecutive weeks of gains for the S&P 500. All in all, markets appear to be in recovery, and the economics behind them seem to be justifying this on a couple of fronts.

Jobless claims rose slightly this week to just over 200,000, after hitting a 53-year low last week. In terms of the specifics, jobless claims hit 202,000, compared with analyst estimates of 196,000. Continuing claims were down to 1.307 million, versus the consensus estimate of 1.340 million.

Despite the low numbers of new jobless claims, employers are still struggling to find enough labor to meet demand. But the good news here is that labor markets have been on a steady road to recovery over the past year. Look for Friday’s employment report to confirm this.

24/7 Wall St. is reviewing additional 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 Block, Costco, Lululemon, Micron, Robinhood and many more.

Advanced Micro Devices Inc. (NASDAQ: AMD): Barclays downgraded the shares to Equal Weight from Overweight and cut the price target to $115 from $148. The 52-week trading range is $72.50 to $164.46, and shares were trading near $115 apiece on Thursday.

Akebia Therapeutics Inc. (NASDAQ: AKBA): H.C. Wainwright downgraded the stock to Neutral from Buy and cut the $10 price target to $2. Needham also downgraded it, to Hold from Buy and Piper Sandler its Overweight rating to Neutral and cut the price target to $2 from $8. The stock traded near $0.75 on Thursday. The 52-week trading range is $0.67 to $4.33.

CDW Corp. (NASDAQ: CDW): Morgan Stanley’s upgrade to Overweight from Equal Weight included a price target hike to $214 from $201. The stock was trading near $180 on Thursday, and the 52-week range is $162.47 to $208.71.

Dell Technologies Inc. (NYSE: DELL): As Morgan Stanley downgraded it to Equal Weight from Overweight, the firm also cut the $66 price target to $60. Shares were trading near $51 on Thursday. The 52-week range is $44.65 to $61.54.

Five Below Inc. (NASDAQ: FIVE): Citigroup’s upgrade to Buy from Neutral included a price target hike to $205 from $176. Shares were trading near $164 on Thursday. The 52-week range is $143.44 to $237.86.

HP Inc. (NYSE: HPQ): Morgan Stanley’s Equal Weight rating was lowered to Underweight, and the firm trimmed the $34 price target to $31. Shares were trading near $37. The 52-week range is $26.11 to $40.37.

PVH Corp. (NYSE: PVH): Morgan Stanley downgraded the stock to Equal Weight from Overweight, also dropping the $122 price target to $89. Shares were trading near $79 on Thursday. The 52-week range is $66.10 to $125.42.

Starwood Property Trust Inc. (NYSE: STWD): Raymond James upgraded it to Strong Buy from Outperform and has a $32 price target. The stock traded near $24 a share on Thursday. The 52-week range is $22.37 to $27.01.

State Street Corp. (NYSE: STT): Wolfe Research’s downgrade was from Outperform to Peer Perform with a $101 price target. The 52-week trading range is $76.92 to $104.87, and shares were trading near $91 on Thursday.


Five companies pay among the biggest dividends, and their stocks offer growth and income investors solid and dependable ways to stay invested in equities while playing some defense in a market that may be poised for another big leg down.

See whether dividends are luring investors to such consumer staples giants as General Mills and Mondelez.

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