The futures were trading mixed on Thursday, after a wild day on Wall Street to start off February. All the major indexes closed higher on Wednesday, after being down big early on. The big news on the day was of course the increase in the federal funds rate, which came in as expected at 25 basis points to put the rate at the highest level since 2007, 4.50% to 4.75%.
There were plenty of mixed opinions on the commentary, as some saw it to be very hawkish while others deemed it more dovish. One thing is for sure: the commentary mentioned future increases (plural), which likely means two more 25-basis-point increases, one in March and one in May, and then perhaps a pause. The worry for the bulls is that the pause could last well into 2024.
Treasury yields were down double-digits across the curve after the Fed decision. While the smaller increase was expected, it will not change the inversion between the 10-year note, which closed at 3.40%, and the shorter two-year note, which finished the day at 4.10%. The bond market and many economists using history as a guide maintain the ongoing inversions is a sign that a recession is on the way.
Both Brent and West Texas Intermediate crude were hammered Wednesday, down almost 3%. Analysts cited an inventory build for the selling Wednesday, even though OPEC maintained the production cut levels established back in November. Natural gas closed almost 7% lower, despite the bone-chilling weather across much of the United States. Gold closed the day up, while Bitcoin also finished higher, almost 3% to $23,759.50.
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, February 2, 2023.
Advanced Micro Devices Inc. (NASDAQ: AMD): Craig Hallum downgraded the stock to Hold from Buy and has a $76 target price. The consensus target is $91.46. The stock’s $84.64 close on Wednesday was up close to 13% after strong results were posted.
Amazon.com Inc. (NASDAQ: AMZN) Oppenheimer reiterated an Outperform rating with a $130 target price. The consensus target is $136.32, and Wednesday’s closing share price was $105.15.
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