How Much Did Shorts Play Into July's Rally? Analysts Upgrade or Downgrade Gap, Lockheed Martin and More

Markets tried to bounce back on Tuesday, with the Nasdaq leading the charge higher with an early gain of about 0.5%. The Dow Jones industrials and S&P 500 were lagging behind, up only 0.2% each, but all the indexes were in the red on last look. All this comes after a couple of consecutive down days on the back of the Federal Reserve reaffirming its narrative of raising interest rates.

Some are suggesting that the bear market rally we saw over the summer might not have been a rally at all. Even though the S&P 500 and Nasdaq bounced over 12% in the month of July, the quick pullback in August might suggest something else—short covering.

As many saw the market on the downtrend since the onset of the Russia-Ukraine conflict in March, it is highly likely that bets against the market were put in place in the form of shorts. Then as these short interest bets were converted, shares must be purchased, sending prices higher. In the midst of the Federal Reserve tightening over the past few months, a 12% bounce seems hard to justify on a bear market rally alone.

24/7 Wall St. is reviewing additional analyst calls seen on Tuesday. 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 Applied Materials, CrowdStrike, Frontier, Lululemon, Peloton and more.

American Outdoor Brands Inc. (NASDAQ: AOUT): B. Riley Securities upgraded the stock from Neutral to Buy with an $11 price target. The 52-week trading range is $7.10 to $28.14, and the stock traded near $9 on Tuesday.

Ascendis Pharma A/S (NASDAQ: ASND): Berenberg resumed coverage with a Buy rating and a $166 price target. The stock traded near $90 on Tuesday, in a 52-week range of $61.58 to $178.71.

Azure Power Global Ltd. (NYSE: AZRE): Credit Suisse’s downgrade to Underperform from Outperform included a price target cut to $5 from $22. The 52-week trading range is $5.10 to $25.30. Shares changed hands near $5 apiece on Tuesday.

Cabaletta Bio Inc. (NASDAQ: CABA): Morgan Stanley lowered its Overweight rating to Equal Weight and cut the $15 price target to $3. The stock was last seen trading near $1, in a 52-week range of $0.90 to $14.95.

Gap Inc. (NYSE: GPS): Barclays upgraded it to Equal Weight from Underweight and raised the $6 price target to $9. The 52-week trading range is $7.79 to $27.19, and the share price was near $10 on Tuesday.

Lockheed Martin Corp. (NYSE: LMT): RBC Capital Markets started coverage with a Sector Perform rating and a $460 price target. The shares traded near $428 on Tuesday. The 52-week range is $324.23 to $479.99.

Northrop Grumman Corp. (NYSE: NOC): RBC Capital Markets initiated coverage with a Sector Perform rating and a $550 price target. Shares traded near $485 on Tuesday, in a 52-week range of $344.89 to $497.20.

Sealed Air Corp. (NYSE: SEE): J.P. Morgan upgraded the shares to Neutral from Underweight but cut the $62 price target to $58. Shares have traded as high as $70.72 in the past year but were near $55 on Tuesday, which is down 19% year to date.

Spire Global Inc. (NYSE: SPIR): Canaccord Genuity started coverage with a Buy rating and a $3.50 price target. Shares traded near $1.50 on Tuesday, in a 52-week range of $1.12 to $19.50.

The bear market rally that started in June is over and it is clearly a time to move to safer dividend stocks. Eight outstanding health care stocks make sense for worried investors now as they are resistant to inflation or recession fears.

See what analysts are saying about Tesla after its stock split. And with two months left in hurricane season, how do things stand for Gulf oil and gas production?

Sponsored: Tips for Investing

A financial advisor can help you understand the advantages and disadvantages of investment properties. Finding a qualified financial advisor doesn’t have to be hard. SmartAsset’s free tool matches you with up to three financial advisors who serve your area, and you can interview your advisor matches at no cost to decide which one is right for you. If you’re ready to find an advisor who can help you achieve your financial goals, get started now.

Investing in real estate can diversify your portfolio. But expanding your horizons may add additional costs. If you’re an investor looking to minimize expenses, consider checking out online brokerages. They often offer low investment fees, helping you maximize your profit.