The futures were higher as we get ready to end a rough, holiday-shortened trading week. All the major indexes closed lower on Thursday, as the risk-off momentum continued to build after a solid start to the year. Mounting layoffs, disappointing earnings and guidance, some disappointing economic numbers and a host of other items have squashed the soft-landing narrative, at least for now. Toss in the “higher for longer” mantra being spun by Federal Reserve officials, and all the ingredients are in place for more selling.
Interest rates were higher across the Treasury curve, after the 10-year yield plunged to its lowest level in four months on Wednesday. Between the ongoing inversion between the 10-year note, which closed at 3.40%, and the two-year, which ended Thursday at 4.12%, the bond market as a whole is signaling that a recession is not only on the way but could be imminent.
Brent and West Texas Intermediate crude finished the day higher, after closing lower on Wednesday, which put an end to the black gold’s eight-day winning streak. The narrative surrounding improving demand from China continues to push the two benchmarks higher. Natural gas also finished the day modestly lower at $3.20. Gold and Bitcoin closed Thursday with solid gains, as the cryptocurrency leader regained the $21,000 level.
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 20, 2023.
Alcoa Corp. (NYSE: AA): B. Riley Securities resumed coverage with a Neutral rating but bumped its target price to $42 from $41. The consensus target is $51.82. The stock closed on Thursday at $49.55, down over 7% for the day after earnings missed the mark for the quarter.
Assurant Inc. (NYSE: AIZ): Truist Securities reiterated a Buy rating with a $170 target price. That compares with the $158.60 consensus target and Thursday’s closing print of $125.86.
Charles Schwab Corp. (NYSE: SCHW): BofA Securities downgraded the legacy discount brokerage firm to Underperform from Buy and lowered its $92 target price to $75. The consensus target is $97.93. The stock closed almost 7% lower on Thursday at $76.32 on the double downgrade.
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