The futures traded lower, after another mixed day across Wall Street that saw all the major indexes start lower before the Nasdaq and S&P 500 were able to grind out a small gain into the close. After Federal Reserve Chair Powell’s comments in front of Congress on the speed and size of rate hikes for the rest of the year, all eyes across Wall Street will be on the nonfarm payrolls numbers for February on Friday morning. While nobody expects a blow-out print like last month, any number that is way above expectations could bring another big round of selling.
Treasury yields were slightly lower to flat again on Wednesday, with the 10-year slowly pulling back from the 4% level to close at 3.98%. With the two-year paper closing at 5.06%, the spread between the two securities is 108 basis points, the widest since 1981. The bond market takes a dim view of the wide inversion as it signals a recession could be on the way soon.
Brent and West Texas Intermediate crude closed lower for the second day in a row, despite the U.S. Energy Information Administration’s inventory draw of 1.7 million barrels for the week to March 3. The draw comes after weeks of rising inventory builds, which has kept pressure on benchmark pricing. Natural gas closed lower Wednesday, down over 4% to close at $2.60. Gold closed the day modestly higher, while Bitcoin was down yet again, closing at $22,054. The cryptocurrency giant has plunged nearly 12% in two weeks.
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, March 9, 2023.
AGNC Investment Corp. (NASDAQ: AGNC): J.P. Morgan upgraded the stock to Overweight from Neutral with a $12.50 target price. The consensus target is $11.60, and the stock closed on Wednesday at $10.81.
Ares Commercial Real Estate Corp. (NYSE: ACRE): Keefe Bruyette downgraded the stock to Market Perform from Outperform and has a $12.50 target price. The consensus target is $13.08. The stock closed over 6% lower on Wednesday at $10.58 despite an earnings beat.
Atlantica Sustainable Infrastructure PLC (NASDAQ: AY): BofA Securities upgraded the stock to Buy from Neutral and has a $32 target price. The consensus target is $31.90. The shares closed on Wednesday at $28.87.
Axon Enterprise Inc. (NASDAQ: AXON): Goldman Sachs initiated coverage with a Buy rating and a $263 target price. The consensus target is $232.00. The stock closed on Wednesday at $221.80.
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