The futures were trading higher on Wednesday after a dreadful start to the holiday-shortened trading week. All the major indexes were hammered on Tuesday. Extremely poor results and guidance from big-box retailers Walmart and Home Depot set the tone early, and some very worrisome geopolitical news later in the day stirred the pot even more. Chinese President Xi announced a summit with Vladimir Putin in Russia, as Putin rattled the nuclear saber once again while suspending Russia from the START nuclear arms treaty.
To compound things Tuesday in the ongoing inflation drama, Goldman Sachs said the Federal Reserve will hike the federal funds rate 75 basis points more on stronger growth, which, as we have noted recently, likely translates to 25-basis-point increases in March, May and July. Some on Wall Street feel that the terminal rate for federal funds could end up as high as 6%.
Treasury yields spiked much higher across the curve, which analysts also cited as a big reason for the equity weakness on Tuesday. The benchmark 30-year bond closed at a 3.98% yield, which is its highest level since late December. The inversion between the 10-year and the two-year notes widened yet again as well, with the former closing at 3.96% and the latter at 4.73%.
Brent and West Texas Intermediate crude both finished lower, with Brent down close to 2% on the day. While the recent backup in energy prices could tame inflation somewhat, many across Wall Street feel that prices will surge as the year goes on. Natural gas was crushed on Tuesday, closing down almost 9%. Gold finished the day flat, while Bitcoin closed down 2.25%, after a big run last week, to end the day at $24,252.
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 22, 2023.
Alliant Energy Corp. (NASDAQ: LNT): Guggenheim raised its Sell rating to Neutral and its $46 target price to $52. The consensus target is up at $57.50. Tuesday’s closing share price was $53.34.
Autodesk Inc. (NASDAQ: ADSK): Stifel lifted its $220 target price on the Buy-rated shares to $245. The consensus target is $234.22, and the stock closed on Tuesday at $215.55.
Autoliv Inc. (NYSE: ALV): BofA Securities resumed coverage with a Buy rating and a $130 price target. The consensus target is just $101.39, and shares ended Tuesday’s session at $90.21.
AutoNation Inc. (NYSE: AN): Though J.P. Morgan downgraded the stock to Underweight from Neutral, it also raised its $125 target price to $130. The consensus target is higher at $150.89. The stock closed Tuesday at $143.38, down close to 9% on the day, after posting inline results for the quarter last week.
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