Friday's Top Upgrades and Downgrades: Costco, CrowdStrike, Gilead Sciences, Liberty Global, Salesforce, Sunrun, Synchrony and More

The futures traded lower as we get set to end a roller-coaster week that saw a huge rally Wednesday after the Fed Chair’s speech, and then the euphoria wore off Thursday and the sellers took advantage of the big gains over the past month. The major indexes closed mixed, with only the Nasdaq ending higher on Thursday after the ISM manufacturing data disappointed. While not erasing all this week’s gains, the closing print put a solid dent in the risk-on enthusiasm.

The biggest news Friday is the November jobs report, which came in above the estimates for 200,000 new jobs being added. This probably will reinforce the Federal Reserve’s “higher for longer” thesis, which basically assumes that when the terminal rate for federal funds is reached at 5.00% to 5.25%, that rate could stay in place well into 2024.

Treasury yields plummeted as buyers rushed in to buy maturities across the curve on the possibility of lower rate hikes, and traders perhaps sensing that a safe haven might be a place to be going forward. The yield on the benchmark 10-year note dropped to a stunning 3.53%, the lowest since late September. The inversion between the 10-year and the two-year yield remained in place as the latter closed at 4.24%.

Brent and West Texas Intermediate crude followed through on Wednesday’s rally that was ignited by a huge oil inventory draw, and both closed modestly higher. Analysts cited the $60 European Union price cap as one of the reasons for the move higher. Natural gas closed the day flat, while gold surged higher for the second day. Bitcoin closed down.

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, December 2, 2022.

ADT Inc. (NYSE: ADT): Citigroup resumed coverage on the home security giant with a Buy rating and an $11 target price. The consensus target is $9.80. Thursday’s close at $9.68 was almost 4% higher on the day.

BioXcel Therapeutics Inc. (NASDAQ: BTAI): Goldman Sachs raised its Sell rating to Neutral with a $16 target price. The consensus target is way up at $47.64. The stock closed Thursday at $17.97, up over 8% after Phase 3 data was announced for the Serenity III trials.

Box Inc. (NYSE: BOX): Oppenheimer reiterated an Outperform rating with a $35 target, higher than the $33.40 consensus target. Thursday’s close at $29.22 was up almost 7% on the day after the company beat estimates and revenue increased year over year.

Consol Energy Inc. (NYSE: CEIX): Zacks selected this stock as its Bull of the Day. The analyst makes the case that with the coal industry under pressure, this miner has been “a diamond in the rough.” Shares last closed at $72.91, and the consensus target of $80.00 would be an all-time high.

Costco Wholesale Corp. (NASDAQ: COST): Oppenheimer reiterated an Outperform rating with a $550 target price. The consensus target is $562.93. Thursday’s close at $503.86 was down close to 7% due to weak November sales data.

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