Friday's Top Analyst Upgrades and Downgrades: American Express, AstraZeneca, Coinbase, Comcast, Delta Air Lines, Marathon Oil, Microsoft, Target and More

The futures traded higher after a vicious risk-off Thursday that saw all the major indexes crushed after the ADP employment report came in much higher than anticipated. Friday’s nonfarm payroll report reinforced what many across Wall Street are already worried about: The Federal Reserve will continue to hike rates, albeit at smaller increments. Once the terminal rate is hit, which is expected to be 5.00% to 5.25%, that number will remain in place for longer than expected.

Treasury rates were higher across the curve, with the exception of the 30-year bond, Thursday after the surprising ADP report, and many expect they can go higher, especially after Neil Kashkari, the Minneapolis Fed President, noted that he felt the Federal Reserve could go as high as 5.4% before it stops hiking rates. The 10-year note closed at a 3.72% yield, while the two-year paper closed at 4.45%, once again widening the inversion many bond traders see as a recession indicator.

Brent and West Texas Intermediate crude closed higher after a dreadful day Wednesday that saw both pummeled. The main concern remains demand, especially as headlines out of China seem to change on a daily basis in regard to reopening and Covid restrictions. Natural gas continued to be pounded Thursday, down a stunning 10% to close at $3.75. Gold finished the day lower, after strong moves higher recently, while Bitcoin finished the session modestly higher.

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, January 6, 2023.

Ally Financial Inc. (NYSE: ALLY): BofA Securities downgraded the stock to Underperform from Buy and lowered its $35 price target to $26, below the $31.78 consensus target. The last trade on Thursday was reported at $25.11.

American Express Co. (NYSE: AXP): Stephens lowered its Equal Weight rating to Underweight with a $134 target. The consensus target is $168.12, and shares closed on Thursday at $146.43.

AppLovin Corp. (NYSE: APP): Benchmark initiated coverage with a Sell rating and a $7 target price. The consensus target is up at $26.89 for now. The shares closed on Thursday at $9.85, which was down close to 10% for the day on the downgrade and the weak tape.

AstraZeneca PLC (NASDAQ: AZN): BMO Capital Markets started coverage with an Outperform rating and an $82 target price. The consensus target is $75.83. The stock closed on Thursday at $69.81.

Charter Communications Inc. (NASDAQ: CHTR): When Truist Securities upgraded the stock to Buy from Hold, it blasted its $380 target price up to $550. The consensus target is $484.55, and Thursday’s close was at $361.43.

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