Friday's Top Analyst Upgrades and Downgrades: Chipotle, CrowdStrike, First Solar, GSK, Intel, Nvidia, Starbucks and More

The futures traded higher as investors prepared to end the holiday-shortened and very volatile trading week. All the major indexes closed higher on Thursday, and one big reason for the initial weakness before the market reversal was another hawkish speech from Fed Chair Powell. Both Jefferies and Goldman Sachs raised their September rate hike estimates to 75 basis points from 50. Jefferies sees the terminal rate of 4.00% to 4.25% for federal funds to be reached in January of 2023, and many across Wall Street feel that rate could be held all next year, unless the inflation rate fell back close to the 2% target level.

Yields were up across the Treasury curve as the bond market is also starting to price in a 75-basis-point hike later this month. Thursday was a reversal of the prior day for the safe haven government securities, as investors rushed into purchased bonds on Wednesday after the two-year spiked to the highest level since 2007. The inversion with the 10-year stayed in place, with the two-year closing back at a 3.51% yield and the 10-year at 3.29%. Bond traders see the inversion as a harbinger of recession.

After being crushed in recent sessions, both Brent and West Texas Intermediate crude closed higher Thursday. Natural gas also rallied, closing up at $7.91, after being hammered earlier in the week after the commodity hit $10, the highest level since 2007. Both gold and Bitcoin closed flat on the day.

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, September 9, 2022.

Alignment Healthcare Inc. (NASDAQ: ALHC): Piper Sandler resumed coverage with an Overweight rating and a $19 target. The consensus target is $20.67. The stock closed over 3% higher on Thursday at $16.35, likely on the resumption of coverage.

Allegiant Travel Co. (NASDAQ: ALGT): Raymond James raised its Market Perform rating to Outperform with a $150 target price. The consensus target is higher at $164. The stock closed on Thursday at $97.98.

Chipotle Mexican Grill Inc. (NYSE: CMG): Bernstein started covering shares of the popular restaurant chain with an Outperform rating and a $2,000 target price. That compares with the lower $1761.96 consensus target and Thursday’s close at $1707.01.

CrowdStrike Holdings Inc. (NASDAQ: CRWD): Cantor Fitzgerald started coverage of the cybersecurity giant with an Overweight rating and a $240 price target. The consensus target is $244.30. The stock closed almost 5% higher on Thursday at $179.88.

CyberArk Software Ltd. (NASDAQ: CYBR): Cantor Fitzgerald started coverage with an Overweight rating and a $180 target price. The consensus target is $178.95. The stock closed on Thursday at $145.36.

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