Wednesday's Top Analyst Upgrades and Downgrades: Alphabet, Bank of America, Dollar General, Halliburton, Paramount Global, SoFi and More

The futures were lower on Wednesday, as we begin a new trading month after a turnaround in January that saw all the major indexes finish the month higher, after closing out Tuesday up big across the board. All eyes across Wall Street are focused on the Federal Reserve, which will announce the increase in the federal funds rate Wednesday afternoon. While the futures suggest a 25-basis-point increase is all but done, the financial conditions in the markets are back to where they stood a year ago, which likely gives Fed Chair Jay Powell the tailwind to do a 50-basis-point increase while pushing back against hope for a policy pivot.

Treasury yields were mixed across the curve Tuesday, as the bond market also anxiously awaits the Fed decision. While the smaller increase is likely, it will not change the inversion between the 10-year note, which closed at 3.53%, and the two-year note, which finished the day at 4.21%. The bond market and many economists, using history as a guide, maintain the ongoing inversion is a sign that a recession is on the way.

Brent and West Texas Intermediate crude posted mixed results, with the former closing lower while the latter finished the day over 1% higher. The winter vortex storm in the Permian Basin likely will shut down production for WTI. Natural gas rallied off the plunging temperatures, closing up almost 2.5%. Gold and Bitcoin closed higher, with the cryptocurrency finishing the day just below the $23,000 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 Wednesday, February 1, 2023.

Albemarle Corp. (NYSE: ALB): Credit Suisse reiterated an Underweight rating on the stock and raised its price target to $240 from $200. The consensus target is $308.84. The stock closed over 3% higher on Tuesday at $281.45.

Alphabet Inc. (NASDAQ: GOOG): BofA Securities reiterated a Buy rating and nudged its $116 price target up to $119. The consensus target is higher at $124.05. Tuesday’s close was at $99.87.

AmerisourceBergen Corp. (NYSE: ABC): Evercore ISI resumed coverage with an Outperform rating and a $185 target price. The consensus target is $180.25, The final trade on Tuesday was for $168.96 a share.

Bank of America Corp. (NYSE: BAC): Atlantic Equities cut its Overweight rating to Neutral with a $40 target price. The consensus target is $40.92. The closing share price on Tuesday was $35.48.

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