Investing

Fed Concerns vs Earnings Optimism: Analysts Upgrade or Downgrade Barrick Gold, Spotify, Verizon and More

Markets continued to take the plunge on Monday, with the Dow Jones industrials and S&P 500 leading the charge lower, each down over 1%. While there may be some optimism surrounding earnings this week, potential Federal Reserve moves have overshadowed it.

The Fed is currently in a quiet period ahead of its meeting next week. However, there are mounting concerns that its chairperson, Jerome Powell, will bring the hammer down and hike interest rates by 50 basis points — as he previously suggested — in an effort to combat inflation.

Investors should expect to hear this update at the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) meeting on May 3 and 4. In the meantime, investors can look forward to a flurry of big tech names reporting results this week, including Apple, Amazon, Alphabet and Meta Platforms.

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 DoorDash, Gap, McDonald’s, PayPal, Snap, Snowflake and many more.

Agilent Technologies Inc. (NYSE: A): Wells Fargo downgraded the stock from Overweight to Equal Weight with a $130 price target. The 52-week trading range is $118.23 to $179.57, and shares were trading near $119 apiece on Monday.

AutoNation Inc. (NYSE: AN): Truist upgraded the shares to Buy from Hold and raised the $130 price target to $140. Shares traded near $109 on Monday, in a 52-week range of $88.32 to $113.48.

Barrick Gold Corp. (NYSE: GOLD): Bernstein lowered its Outperform rating to Market Perform. The stock traded near $22 on Monday. The 52-week trading range is $17.27 to $26.07.

BioMarin Pharmaceuticals Inc. (NASDAQ: BMRN): Morgan Stanley’s upgrade to Overweight from Equal Weight included a price target hike to $113 from $96. The 52-week trading range is $71.59 to $94.20, and shares were trading near $81 on Monday.

Deere & Co. (NYSE: DE): BofA Securities downgraded it to Neutral from Buy and cut the $475 price target to $450. Shares were trading near $383. The 52-week range is $320.50 to $446.76.

Kellogg Co. (NYSE: K): Deutsche Bank’s downgrade to Hold from Buy came with a price target cut to $73 from $74. The stock traded near $68 on Monday. The 52-week trading range is $59.54 to $70.21.

Marathon Oil Corp. (NYSE: MRO): Susquehanna lifted its Neutral rating to Positive and has a $32 price target. The stock traded near $24 on Monday. The 52-week trading range is $10.41 to $27.97.

Newmont Corp. (NYSE: NEM): Bernstein downgraded the stock to Market Perform from Outperform and has a $57 price target. The 52-week trading range is $52.60 to $86.37, and shares traded near $72 apiece on Monday.

Penn National Gaming Inc. (NASDAQ: PENN): Though Morgan Stanley lifted its Equal Weight rating to Overweight, it also cut the $55 price target to $51. The 52-week trading range is $35.70 to $96.24, and shares were trading near $37 apiece on Monday.

Spotify Technology S.A. (NYSE: SPOT): Redburn upgraded the shares to a Neutral rating from Sell. Shares were near $111 on Monday. The 52-week range is $107.22 to $305.60.

Thermo Fisher Scientific Inc. (NYSE: TMO): Wells Fargo’s downgrade was from Equal Weight to Underweight with a $525 price target. The 52-week trading range is $438.72 to $672.34, and shares were trading near $535 on Monday.

Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE: VZ): As Goldman Sachs downgraded the stock to Neutral from Buy, it cut the $61 price target to $55. Shares were trading near $50. The 52-week range is $49.69 to $59.85.

Apple, Exxon and PepsiCo are among the top companies expected to hike their dividends this week, making their stocks good total return candidates.

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