The futures traded lower on Friday, as we end a week that had a little something for everybody. All the major indexes closed down big Thursday, after starting strong out of the gate. From some big up days to commiserate down days, the roller-coaster remains in full effect. And the song remained the same as earnings continued to pour in this week, along with mixed economic news.
Strategists cited the weak dollar, continued massive layoffs and some positive corporate earnings as a reason stocks for the most part held their ground over the past four sessions. The biggest lingering negatives are higher for longer peak rates, with some now saying the terminal rate could be as high as 5.5%, and some Thursday suggested that number could reach a stunning 6.0%.
Treasury yields were higher across the curve Thursday, and despite a positive 10-year action on Wednesday, the sellers returned and the benchmark note closed the day at 3.68%. The inversion with the two-year paper held serve, as it finished at 4.48%, the widest gap since 1981. Bond market mavens have long considered the anomaly between the two securities as a precursor to a recession.
Brent and West Texas Intermediate crude both finished the day lower, giving back some of the strong gains from the past week. Top analysts cited the growing inventories in the United States and in the eurozone as a reason for the pullback, as they are at the highest levels since July of 2021. Natural gas reversed ground and was the winner on the day, closing up almost 2% at $2.43. Gold and Bitcoin both closed lower, with the cryptocurrency giant down almost 5%, back below the $22,000 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, February 10, 2023.
Accolade Inc. (NASDAQ: ACCD): Jefferies downgraded the stock to Buy from Hold but kept a $14 target price. The consensus target is $13.04. The stock closed down over 8% on Thursday at $11.57, after the downgrade.
Affirm Holdings Inc. (NASDAQ: AFRM): RBC Capital Markets downgraded shares of the buy-now-pay-later company to Sector Perform from Outperform. The analyst also lowered the $23 target price to $17, below the $19.32 consensus target. The stock was destroyed Thursday, closing down 17% at $13.29 after posting dismal earnings and announcing big job cuts.
Avista Corp. (NYSE: AVA): As Mizuho downgraded the stock to Underperform from Neutral, it sliced its $45 target objective to $38. The consensus target is $39.50, and shares closed at $39.42 on Thursday.
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