Monday's Top Analyst Upgrades and Downgrades: Altria, Block, Coinbase, KB Home, Pfizer, PNC Financial, RingCentral, Uber and More

The futures were higher to start another action-packed trading week. All the major indexes closed higher after a rollercoaster Friday that saw the market open sharply lower, rally back and then close higher. The song remains the same, as worries over the rising cost of credit default swaps for Deutsche Bank was the financial contagion story of the day. Depending on who you listened to, we are either in the middle of a banking crisis or worries are way overblown. This comes as the Federal Reserve’s backstop facility, and the discount window, has been hit to the tune of $345 billion in just two weeks.

Treasury yields were lower again on Friday, as the two-year and 10-year yields fell back to the lowest levels since last September. The former closed at 3.77% while the latter finished the week at 3.38%. The 39-basis-point inversion spread is the tightest between the two securities since last year, but it still indicates recession is on the way.

Brent and West Texas Intermediate crude were down again on Friday, both dropping over 1%. Analysts blamed the decline on the banking issues, while some pointed to the lack of effort by the energy department to refill the Strategic Petroleum Reserve. This failure to refill comes as the U.S. Department of Energy prepares to sell another $26 million barrels with the SPR at the lowest level since 1983.

Natural gas was the only winner in the energy complex on Friday, closing up 3% at $2.22. Gold’s dramatic move higher last week paused on Friday, as the bullion closed modestly lower, after trading back over the $2,000 level early in the session. Bitcoin was hammered Friday, after a big move higher last week, closing down almost 3.5% at $27,377.

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 Monday, March 27, 2023.

Altria Group Inc. (NYSE: MO): Goldman Sachs reiterated an Outperform rating on the company and has a $52 target price. The consensus target is $49.63, and shares closed on Friday at $43.97.

Axonics Inc. (NASDAQ: AXNX): Needham upgraded the stock from Hold to Buy with a $71 target price. The consensus target is up at $82.44, but Friday’s last trade was for $56.04.

Block Inc. (NYSE: SQ): When Atlantic Equities cut its Overweight rating to Neutral, it also reduced its $90 target price to $70. The consensus target is $95.45 for now. The stock closed at $60.68, down 2% on Friday, after being hit hard earlier in the week after short-seller Hindenburg released a scathing report on the company.

Coinbase Global Inc. (NASDAQ: COIN): TD Cowen downgraded the stock to Underperform from Market Perform and has a $36 target price. Note that Friday’s $67.83 closing share price is less than the consensus price target.

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