The futures were higher on Thursday, after a rough day across Wall Street Wednesday as all the major indexes closed lower. That was due to a combination of less than stellar earnings and the fact that many analysts and strategists feel that there is a strong possibility that recession will take current forward estimates considerably lower. Add to the mix, continued massive tech layoffs, the prospect of more interest rate hikes, deteriorating financial conditions and inflation numbers that were trending down but could turn higher again as oil and other commodities spike.
Treasury yields were once again flat to modestly lower across the curve Wednesday, after a big spike to the upside over the past week. Short rates continue to dwarf the long end of the curve, as the two-year and 10-year inversion plainly shows. The short paper closed Wednesday at 4.43%, while the longer note ended the day at 3.65%. The 78-basis-point difference is the widest since 1981 and suggests recession is on the way.
Brent and West Texas Intermediate crude finished the day higher, both closing up almost 2%, following a big move earlier in the week. The U.S. Energy Information Administration confirmed a build of 2.4 million barrels in inventory. This came as an Iranian representative said oil could hit $100 per barrel in the latter half of 2023 if China’s demand returns. Natural gas closed the day down over 7% at $2.40. Gold closed slightly higher, while Bitcoin was down over 1% to close below $23,000.
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 9, 2023.
American Airlines Group Inc. (NASDAQ: AAL): Redburn upgraded the stock to Buy from Neutral and has a $25 target price. The consensus target is $16.57, lower than Wednesday’s close at $16.98 a share.
American Express Co. (NYSE: AXP): Morgan Stanley raised its Equal Weight rating to Overweight with a $186 target price. The consensus target is $183.75. The shares closed on Wednesday at $179.
AutoZone Inc. (NYSE: AZO): Barclays began coverage of the retailer with an Overweight rating and a $2,663 price objective. The consensus target is $2,634.20, and the stock closed at $2423.36 on Wednesday.
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Best Buy Co. Inc. (NYSE: BBY): Barclays started coverage with an Equal Weight rating and a $88 target price. The consensus target is $83.87. The stock closed on Wednesday at $86.40.
Chesapeake Energy Corp. (NASDAQ: CHK): Citigroup started coverage with a Neutral rating and a $90 target price. The consensus target is up at $130.40. Wednesday’s close was at $81.98.
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