Investing

As Big May Options Expire, Analysts Upgrade or Downgrade Dow, HPE, Ross Stores and More

Friday’s options expirations were driving some serious volumes across the major indexes. It is a rather good bet that after a horrific month some positions on dealer desks are being shoved down the line. Markets were mixed approaching the midday hours, but one thing is for sure, and we saw it Thursday. Every attempt by the bulls to trade this market higher is met by furious selling. One trend that is looking stronger by the day is that, before we can go higher, there is an excellent chance that we could trade down as low as 3,400 on the S&P 500, which is down about 15%.

Yields across the Treasury curve were lower again, which as we have discussed signifies a flight to quality, and that reinforces the narrative that the path of least resistance for now is likely lower. The cryptocurrency crowd got a solid boost Thursday as Bitcoin was traded almost 5% higher, after a wretched week, and was modestly lower Friday.

24/7 Wall St. is reviewing some additional analyst calls seen on Friday. We have included the latest analyst 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 Apple, Cisco, Costco, Lowe’s, Schlumberger, Target, Under Armour and more.

Air Products and Chemicals Inc. (NYSE: APD): Credit Suisse resumed coverage with an Outperform rating while dropping the $302 price objective to $290. The consensus target is $292.90. Over the past 52 weeks, the trading range has been $216.24 to $316.39. Friday saw the stock trading at $235.75.

Bentley Systems Inc. (NASDAQ: BSY): Oppenheimer started coverage with an Outperform rating and a $40 target price. The consensus target is $49.43. The shares have traded in a 52-week range of $26.32 to $71.92. The stock traded on Friday at $32.40.

Comerica Inc. (NYSE: CMA): Baris raised its Neutral rating on the bank to Outperform with an $85 target price. The consensus target is up at $101.15. Over the past 52 weeks, the shares have traded between $63.07 and $102.09. Friday saw the stock trading at $73.05.

Coupa Software Inc. (NASDAQ: COUP): D.A. Davidson started coverage with a Neutral rating and a $75 target price. The shares have traded in a wide 52-week range of $58.43 to $283.38. The consensus price objective is $103.57. The shares traded at $67.90 Friday.

Dow Inc. (NYSE: DOW): Credit Suisse resumed coverage of the chemical giant with a Neutral rating, and it raised the $50 target price to $67. The consensus target is $74.05. The 52-week trading range is $52.07 to $71.86, and the stock traded on Friday at $67.65.

Ecolab Inc. (NYSE: ECL): Credit Suisse cut the target price to $180 from $205 while resuming coverage with a Neutral rating. The consensus target is $194.69. Over the past year, the stock has traded between $154.31 and $238.93 a share. On Friday, shares traded at $157.10.

Hewlett Packard Enterprise Co. (NYSE: HPE): BofA Securities downgraded the legacy technology shares to Neutral from Buy and cut the target price to $16 from $19. The consensus target is $17.78. The shares have traded in a 52-week range of $12.99 to $17.76 and were seen Friday at $13.95 down over 7% on the downgrade.

Pure Storage Inc. (NYSE: PSTG): BofA Securities downgraded the shares to Neutral from Buy and trimmed the price target to $27 from $34. The consensus target is $38.35. Over the past 52 weeks, the stock has traded between $17.40 and $36.71. Shares traded at $23.50 on Friday.

Ross Stores Inc. (NASDAQ: ROST): When Telsey Advisory downgraded the popular discount retailer to Market Perform from Outperform, it also slashed the $145 price objective to $80. The consensus price target is $113.48 for now. The 52-week trading range is $84.44 to $127.58. The stock was hammered Friday, down over 21% to $72.30, after earnings, revenue and same-store sales all missed Wall Street estimates.

Wix.com Ltd. (NYSE: WIX): Morgan Stanley’s downgrade was from Overweight to Equal Weight with an $85 target. The consensus target is $103.13. The shares have traded in a wide 52-week range of $56.24 to $309, and on Friday shares were seen at $67.75.


24/7 Wall St. has screened the Dividend Aristocrats looking for very safe and secure stocks that pay dependable dividends. Eight picks look like great ideas for worried investors in a recession that already may have begun.

Defense contractors stand to benefit from a boost in the U.S. defense budget, and five are generous when it comes to sharing their luck with investors.

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