Thursday's Top Analyst Upgrades and Downgrades: Charles Schwab, Comerica, KeyCorp, Meta Platforms, Microsoft, Netflix and More

The futures were lower after another risk-off day across Wall Street in which all the major indexes, except the Nasdaq, closed lower. Once again, trouble in the financial sector ignited the selling. This time the culprit was Credit Suisse, whose activities and practices have been scrutinized for years. After the bank’s biggest investor, Saudi National Bank, said it could provide no more capital, the stock nosedived. Credit Suisse shares have traded down 97% over the past five years, and credit default swaps show that the bank could be on the verge of a meltdown, as it is trading near the distressed zone.

Yields across the Treasury curve plunged again as investors rushed once more into the safe-haven security of government debt. The five-year note yield was down 22 basis points, while the benchmark 10-year note yield fell 15 basis points. Note that bond prices trade higher when yields fall. The two-year note once again was the center of attention, and buying as the yield dropped a remarkable 33 basis points to close at 3.89%, the lowest since last September.

Both Brent and West Texas Intermediate crude plunged Wednesday, down 3.90% and 4.35%, respectively, after the U.S. Energy Information Administration reported that for the March 10 period the oil inventories reported a 1.6 million barrel build. This came as gasoline inventories for that same period fell 2.1 million barrels. Natural gas was a loser as well, closing down almost 4% at $2.43.

Gold was the big winner, along with the government bonds, as scared investors ran for the safety of the bullion. The spot price spiked almost 1% on the day to close at $1919. Bitcoin, however, was lower Wednesday, after a big move higher recently. The cryptocurrency closed down 1.2% at $24,460.

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 16, 2023.

Apartment Income REIT Corp. (NYSE: AIRC): BMO Capital Markets upgraded the shares from Underperform to Market Perform with a $39 target price. The consensus target is $41.50. The stock was closed at $36.18 Wednesday.

Aris Water Solutions Inc. (NYSE: ARIS): Goldman Sachs lowered its $21 target price on the Buy-rated shares to $15. The consensus target is $16.55. The stock closed 10% lower on Wednesday at $8.60.

Azul S.A. (NYSE: AZUL): Morgan Stanley’s upgrade to Equal Weight from Underweight included a target price bump from $6.00 to $8.60. The consensus target is up at $13.42. Wednesday’s closing share price was $7.31.

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