Thursday's Top Analyst Upgrades and Downgrades: Alphabet, Amazon, Diamondback Energy, DR Horton, Fisker, Fox, Microsoft, Philip Morris, SunPower, Toast and More

The futures were trading higher after a risk-off day early Wednesday that saw all the major indexes start the session down big but finish mixed, with just the Dow Jones industrial average squeezing out a small gain. The proverbial cornucopia of issues weighed on the market, including weak earnings and even weaker guidance from big bellwether stocks like Microsoft and Boeing, more layoffs (and the threat of many more to come) and ongoing inflation (albeit lower, though some prices like food remain stubbornly high). Perhaps one of the biggest fears is that the incoming economic data increasingly suggests that a recession may be upon us sooner rather than later.

Treasury yields were flat across the curve Wednesday, after some big buying earlier in the week. The aforementioned recession risk appears to be the tailwind for the recent rally in the Treasury market. The 10-year note closed unchanged at 3.46%, while the two-year ended the day at 4.13%. That keeps the inversion well in place, which as we have noted is a recession indicator.

Brent and West Texas Intermediate crude were both slightly higher Wednesday, and some analysts speculated that the move by the United States and Germany to send tanks to Ukraine in front of the predicted Russian advance might have been the reason for the energy sector’s mild strength. Natural gas finished almost 6% lower, despite Uzbekistan expecting the coldest winter weather in 50 years. Both gold and Bitcoin ended the day 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 Thursday, January 26, 2023.

Alphabet Inc. (NASDAQ: GOOG): MKM Partners reiterated a Buy rating but lowered its $130 target price to $120. The shares have a consensus target of $124.70. The last trade Wednesday was filled at $96.73. Inc. (NASDAQ: AMZN): UBS reiterated a Buy rating but lowered its $121 target price to $118. The consensus target is higher at $135.98. The shares closed on Wednesday at $97.18.

APA Corp. (NASDAQ: APA): Wells Fargo initiated coverage with an Overweight rating and a $52 target price. The consensus target is $54.32. The final trade for Wednesday was for $44.09 a share.

Bloomin’ Brands Inc. (NASDAQ: BLMN): The BMO Capital Markets downgrade to Market Perform from Outperform included a price target cut to $26 from $29. The consensus target is $27.25. Wednesday’s close was at $23.41.

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