The futures traded higher on Thursday, after a big risk-off day on Wall Street when all the major indexes posted solid gains. Most of Wall Street was focused on the Federal Reserve minutes, and while the release added some new color, the most promising was that the Fed appears flexible on interest rate hikes going forward and they could come faster. That noted, the upcoming 50-basis-point rate hikes for June and July have been factored in already.
Strategists have indicated that some positives for the risk-on crowd include the very poor investor sentiment. The peak inflation narrative, which basically says we are close to or perhaps even at the top of the huge price increases in energy and food, may have helped to provide a tailwind. That narrative may very well be wishful thinking.
Treasury yields were flat across the curve, as the rush to the safe-haven securities subsided. Brent and West Texas Intermediate crude were slightly higher on the day, but the meteoric rise of natural gas continued with the commodity closing over the $9 level for the first time since 2008. While gold closed lower, Bitcoin was modestly higher.
24/7 Wall St. reviews dozens of analyst research reports each day of the week with a goal of finding fresh ideas for investors and traders alike. Some of these daily analyst calls cover stocks to buy. Other calls cover stocks to sell or avoid. Remember that no single analyst call should ever be used as a basis to buy or sell a stock. Consensus analyst target data is from Refinitiv.
These are the top analyst upgrades, downgrades and initiations seen on Thursday, May 26, 2022.
Agilent Technologies Inc. (NYSE: A): Goldman Sachs maintained a Buy rating on the stock and has a $170 target price. The shares have traded as high as $179.57 in the past year but closed most recently at $120.38, down over 3% on Wednesday after reporting just inline results.
Align Technology Inc. (NASDAQ: ALGN): This medical device maker was selected as the Zacks Bear of the Day. The analyst suggests that bears continue to show big smiles when looking at this stock. Shares have traded as high as $737.45 in the past year but closed most recently at $276.57, which is down about 58% year to date.
Apple Inc. (NASDAQ: AAPL): Though Loop Capital reiterated a Buy rating on the technology heavyweight, it cut its $210price objective to $180. The consensus target is $189.73. The stock closed on Wednesday at $140.52.
Best Buy Inc. (NYSE: BBY): Goldman Sachs lowered its $96 price target on the electronics retail leader to $82 while keeping a Sell rating on the shares. The consensus target is up at $107.86. The stock closed almost 9% higher on Wednesday to $80.06. The company acknowledged during its earnings call this week that its road ahead could be difficult.
Casey’s General Stores Inc. (NASDAQ: CASY): Wells Fargo started coverage with an Overweight rating and a $240 price target. The consensus target is $237. The stock closed at $203.03 on Wednesday.
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