Investing

With Earnings Season Set to Make or Break Markets, Analyst Upgrades and Downgrades on American Express, Rivian and More

Markets had dropped, with nearly half the trading day done on Monday and the S&P 500 and Nasdaq each down over 1%. Many are worried that a recession is on the way, but a good indicator for that going forward would be the corporate earnings season for the first quarter.

The major banks kicking off the earnings-reporting season later this week. If anything, these reports will provide some insight into how America’s companies are handling the record levels of inflation that we have seen over the past few months. Also a look into guidance would be helpful in terms of gauging market sentiment going forward.

As it stands now, Wall Street analysts across the board are expecting S&P 500 earnings to grow 4.5% for the first quarter, compared to last year. While on its face this increase looks pretty handy, in fact it would be the slowest earnings growth rate for the index since the fourth quarter of 2020. Again, with all this up in the air, it is increasingly becoming a stock-pickers’ market.

24/7 Wall St. is reviewing additional analyst calls seen on Monday. 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 AT&T, JetBlue, Nvidia, Wells Fargo and many more.

American Express Co. (NYSE: AXP): J.P. Morgan downgraded it to a Neutral rating from Overweight and has a $200 price target. The 52-week trading range is $140.68 to $199.55, and shares were trading near $179 apiece on Monday.

Bank of New York Mellon Corp. (NYSE: BK): Citigroup downgraded the stock to Neutral from Buy and cut the $70 price target to $50. The stock traded near $48 on Monday. The 52-week trading range is $45.80 to $64.63.

Citizens Financial Group Inc. (NYSE: CFG): Citigroup’s downgrade was to Neutral from Buy. Shares were trading near $42 on Monday. The 52-week range is $39.56 to $57.00.

EQT Corp. (NYSE: EQT): Tudor Pickering Holt upgraded the shares from Hold to Buy with a $58 price target. The stock traded near $38 on Monday. The 52-week trading range is $15.71 to $38.73.

Masco Corp. (NYSE: MAS): BofA Securities lowered its Neutral rating to Underperform and cut the $75 price target to $55. The stock traded near $50 on Monday. The 52-week trading range is $49.39 to $71.06.

Photronics Inc. (NASDAQ: PLAB): Stifel’s upgrade to Buy from Hold included a price target hike to $21 from $19. Shares were trading near $15. The 52-week range is $11.65 to $20.30.

Regions Financial Corp. (NYSE: RF): Wells Fargo upgraded it to Overweight from Equal Weight and raised the price target to $26 from $24. Shares were trading near $21 on Monday. The 52-week range is $18.02 to $25.57.

Rivian Automotive Inc. (NASDAQ: RIVN): Exane BNP Paribas initiated coverage with an Underperform rating and a $35 price target. The 52-week trading range is $33.46 to $179.47, and shares were trading near $40 apiece on Monday.

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