The futures were mixed Friday, as we get ready to close out a productive week, at least by 2022 standards. The major indexes closed higher again Thursday, as domestic interest rates retreated in a big way. The European Central Bank, which has been late to the inflation party, raised rates Thursday by 50 basis points, the first hike in Europe in 11 years. A string of some solid earnings reports, and the fact that the Federal Reserve likely will stay with a 75-basis-point increase next week instead of the 1% increase some had feared, seems to be among the reasons for the solid tone for stocks this week.
The aforementioned U.S. interest rates were down across the curve as buyers returned on Thursday. The two-year and 10-year Treasury note inversion held its ground on Thursday, with the yield on the 10-year note falling back well under 3% to 2.91%, while the two-year note closed at 3.09%. Again, the inversion of the two securities is seen as a harbinger of a recession.
Consumers and motorists were pleased Thursday as West Texas Intermediate crude closed below the $100 mark at $96.42, while Brent crude also closed down almost 3%. Natural gas took a break from its recent huge run, closing flat just below the $8 mark. This on the heels of Russian President Putin saying Russia will honor its gas commitments to Europe as the Nord Stream pipeline restarts after 10 days of maintenance. Gold closed the day higher up 1.4%, while Bitcoin took a breather closing modestly lower.
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 Friday, July 22, 2022.
Alcoa Corp. (NYSE: AA): Goldman Sachs lowered its $90 price target on the Buy-rated aluminum giant to $80. The Wall Street consensus target is $66.62. The stock closed on Thursday at $45.15.
Berkshire Hills Bancorp Inc. (NYSE: BHLB): Janney upgraded the shares from Neutral to Buy with a $31 target price. The consensus target is $29.20. The last trade on Thursday was for $27.37.
Biogen Inc. (NASDAQ: BIIB): Baird reiterated a Neutral rating on the biotech giant and has a $224 target price. The consensus target is $237.07. The stock closed over 3% higher on Thursday trade at $214.06.
Blue Apron Inc. (NYSE: APRN): Benchmark initiated coverage with a Buy rating and a $10 target price. The consensus target is $9.00. The shares ended trading on Thursday at $3.26.
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