Tuesday's Top Analyst Upgrades and Downgrades: Altria, Apple, GE, Pfizer, Silvergate, Tesla, Verizon and More

The futures were higher after a mixed start to the trading week following last Friday’s big across-the-board stock rally. The Dow Jones industrials and the S&P 500 closed higher on Monday, while the Nasdaq and the Russell 2000 finished the day lower. This week and next are full of market-moving data and plenty of Federal Reserve talk, with Chair Powell’s semiannual monetary policy presentation Tuesday and Wednesday, the February nonfarm payrolls on Friday, and the February consumer price index reading on March 14. All of these could contain the ammunition to fuel either a continuation of the buying or a return of the sellers.

Treasury yields were modestly higher across the curve on Monday, as the sellers returned after last Friday’s rally. The selling pushed the 10-year benchmark note and the 30-year-long bond yields back closer to the 4% level. While the 10-year closed at 3.98% on Monday, the inversion with the two-year paper remained as the latter closed at 4.89%. Bond market pros see the anomaly between the two securities as a potential recession sign.

Brent and West Texas Intermediate crude both closed higher again, after surging 4% last week. Analysts cited the potential discord among OPEC members (and the possibility of the UAE leaving the cartel) as a possible reason for the volatility on Monday. Natural gas was hammered, closing down over 13% at $2.60. Gold and Bitcoin both finished lower on Monday.

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 Tuesday, March 7, 2023.

Align Technology Inc. (NASDAQ: ALGN): Stifel reiterated a Buy rating with a $375 target price. The consensus target is $336.22. The stock closed on Monday at $335.80.

Altria Group Inc. (MYSE: MO): Stifel reiterated a Buy rating with a $50 target price. The consensus target is $49.65, and shares closed at $47.19 on Monday.

Apple Inc. (NASDAQ: AAPL): Goldman Sachs had the big call of the day, starting coverage of the technology giant with a Buy rating and a $199 target price. The consensus target is $168.34. The stock ended Monday trading at $153.83.

Avid Technology Inc. (NASDAQ: AVID): Truist Financial initiated coverage with a Buy rating. Its $45 target price is well above the $35.40 consensus target. The stock closed almost 5% higher on Monday at $29.80.

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