The futures traded lower on Friday, approaching the end of a volatile holiday-shortened week that saw all the major indexes finish the day higher on Thursday. The second print for fourth-quarter gross domestic product came in at 2.7%, versus the initial 2.9%, but the big news Friday is the PCE inflation number for January that came in higher than estimates. As this is one of the top metrics used by Fed Chair Powell for policy decisions, it all but assures more rate increases are on the way.
Treasury yields were lower across the curve, after spiking higher over the past week. With the one-year T-bill trading above 5%, that rate is now higher than the dividend paid by all but 20 of the companies in the S&P 500. The inversion between the 10-year note, which closed at 3.88%, and the two-year debt, which closed at 4.70%, remained in place. Many feel that not only are rates going higher but they will remain there for longer.
Brent and West Texas Intermediate crude both closed Thursday almost 2.5% higher, after a dreadful stretch over the past week that included a 3% drop on Wednesday. Growth in India and the Chinese demand factor still continue to guide benchmark pricing higher, and many feel that demand will increase as the weather warms. Natural gas, which has been crushed, also finished higher, up almost 4% at $2.25. Gold ended the day higher, while Bitcoin closed lower at $23,932, as the cryptocurrency giant has plunged over $1,000 from highs posted earlier this week.
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 24, 2023.
Ambarella Inc. (NASDAQ: AMBA): Jefferies reiterated a Buy rating with a $110 target price. The consensus target is lower at $96.71. The shares closed almost 3% higher on Thursday at $93.34.
AppLovin Corp. (NASDAQ: APP): UBS downgraded the stock to Neutral from Buy and slashed its $59 price target to $16. The consensus target is $23.29. The stock closed on Thursday at $14.49, which was down close to 5%.
Boston Beer Co. Inc. (NYSE: SAM): Zacks pointed to competition and supply chain setbacks as it named this its Bear of the Day stock. Shares have traded as high as $422.75 in the past year but closed most recently at $336.03. Its $313.43 consensus price target suggests more than 6% further downside.
CarMax Inc. (NYSE: KMX): Truist Financial resumed coverage with a Hold rating and a $66 target price. The consensus target is $61.71, and the stock closed on Thursday at $69.13.
Charles River Laboratories International Inc. (NYSE: CRL): Guggenheim raised its Neutral rating to Buy with a $255 target price. The consensus target is $263.08. The stock closed almost 4% higher on Thursday at $227.27 on the upgrade.
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