Thursday's Top Analyst Upgrades and Downgrades: Carnival, Enphase Energy, Meta Platforms, Nike, Nvidia, Ross Stores, Spotify, Transocean and More

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The futures traded higher on Thursday, after the Federal Reserve stayed the course and raised interest 25 basis points to get the federal funds rate to 4.75% to 5.00%, the highest level since 2007. All the major indexes finished Wednesday lower on a big end-of-the-day sell-off. Most of the ongoing chatter across Wall Street remains focused on the bank contagion and liquidity crisis, which appears to be mostly contained for now.

The big concern for many is that regional and smaller banks will be tightening lending standards. That could crimp the efforts of small business, which employs about 50% of the total workforce. However, J.P. Morgan says that the next shoe to drop may be commercial real estate, as higher rates and lending standards could be a straw that breaks the camel’s back.

After two days of big moves higher, Treasury yields were lower in a big way across the curve, as bond traders keyed in on Fed Chair Powell’s press conference after the rate announcement. While we are likely closing in on the end of the rate hikes, a burst of inflation could keep them in place for longer than currently anticipated.

Brent and West Texas Intermediate crude both finished the day higher after OPEC announced it would not be changing current production levels despite last week’s plunge in benchmark pricing. The group cut production late last year and will be staying put. Natural gas finished lower, down almost 6% at $2.20. Gold rebounded Wednesday to close up over 1.4%, while Bitcoin’s run higher ended in a big down day as the cryptocurrency giant was mauled to the tune of 3.5% and closed at $27,209.

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 23, 2023.

Academy Sports and Outdoors Inc. (NASDAQ: ASO): Baird initiated coverage with an Outperform rating and an $80 target price. The consensus target is $75.77. The stock closed on Wednesday at $63.63.

Ameriprise Financial Inc. (NYSE: AMP): Jefferies reiterated a Buy rating with a $355 target price. The consensus target is $377.73. The shares closed at $296.24 on Wednesday.

Antero Resources Corp. (NYSE: AR): BMO Capital Markets downgraded the stock to Market Perform from Outperform and lowered its $31 target price to $28. The consensus target is $35.31. The stock closed almost 6% lower on Wednesday at $21.46.

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