Wednesday's Top Analyst Upgrades and Downgrades: Big Lots, Hewlett Packard Enterprise, Meta Platforms, Nasdaq, Pinduoduo, TransUnion, Ulta Beauty and More

The futures were higher on the last trading day of August, after another risk-off day Tuesday in which all the major indexes closed down. Some serious damage may have occurred technically, with the S&P 500 closing below the 50-day moving average. The song remains the same, as rising interest rate increases, pushback from the Federal Reserve leaders on any policy pivot, the ramp-up in quantitative tightening (QT) (which will increase to $95 billion per month in September) and a worsening overall economic picture all contributed to renewed selling. Unless the inflation picture drastically improves, investors can count on a 75-basis-point increase late next month.

Yields were flat across the Treasury curve Tuesday, as attention turned to the two-year note, which traded near 3.50% before closing at a 3.46%, the highest since 2007. The inversion remains in place with the 10-year note closing at 3.11%. This inversion is often a harbinger of recession.

Brent and West Texas Intermediate crude gave up Monday’s big gains and more, as both closed down well over 4%. Economic slowdown fears once again seem to be the major reason for the selling. With two months left in the hurricane season, any big activity in the Gulf could see prices rise fast. Natural gas closed lower as well, despite Gazprom slashing deliveries to a French utility giant. Gold ended slightly lower, while Bitcoin was down almost 2% to close below $20,000 again.

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 Wednesday, August 31, 2022.

Big Lots Inc. (NYSE: BIG): Goldman Sachs reiterated a Sell rating on the shares and has a $20 target price. The consensus target is $21.43. The last trade for Tuesday came in at $24.08, which was up close to 12% on the day despite missing on earnings estimates.

Bowlero Corp. (NYSE: BOWL): J.P. Morgan started coverage with an Overweight rating and a $17 target price. The consensus target for the stock is $15.25. The shares closed up almost 5% on Tuesday at $11.66 on the upgrade.

Catalent Inc. (NASDAQ: CTLT): Baird reiterated an Outperform rating on the stock while lowering the $142 price objective to $123. The consensus target is $129.38. Tuesday’s close at $89.28 was down over 3% for the day.

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