Thursday's Top Analyst Upgrades and Downgrades: Amgen, Bloom Energy, ConocoPhillips, Livent, Palo Alto Networks, SLM, UnitedHealth and More

The futures were trading mixed, as we get ready to finish the holiday-shortened week as the stock market will be closed on Friday. All the major indexes closed lower Wednesday, with the exception of the Dow Jones industrials, which carved out a tiny gain. The Nasdaq once again took the biggest beating, closing down 1.07%. The selling started on Tuesday after the JOLTs report came in lower than expected as job openings declined. Toss in the weakest ISM manufacturing number in three years on Monday, and worries over economic growth are starting to multiply. While Thursday’s job report was in line with expectations, inflation remains a big concern.

Once again, Treasury yields plunged across the curve, and again lower rates did not provide any sort of tailwind to equities. In fact, the yield on the two-year note dropped to its lowest level since September of last year, closing at 3.79%. The yield on the 10-year note finished Wednesday at 3.29%. The inversion between the two securities has tightened recently but still indicates recession is on the way.

Brent and West Texas Intermediate crude closed flat on the day, after jumping earlier in the week on the surprise OPEC production cut. This week, the Energy Information Administration announced crude inventory draws totaling 3.7 million barrels for the period ending March 31. Gasoline inventories were lower as well. Natural gas finished the day 1.4% higher, closing at $2.14.

Gold was flat on the day, closing at $2,020. It appears some of the buyers are taking a breather after the bullion closed back over the $2,000 mark and has been on fire since the banking issues prompted a big flight to safety. Bitcoin was flat for the day, closing at $28,188.

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, April 6, 2023.

Albemarle Corp. (NYSE: ALB): BofA Securities downgraded the stock to Underperform from Neutral but reduced its $262 price target to $195. The consensus target is $312.80. The stock closed over 6% lower on Wednesday at $196.71 after the downgrade.

Amgen Inc. (NASDAQ: AMGN): Jefferies reiterated a Buy rating and has a $325 target price. The consensus target is $258.29, and the stock closed on Wednesday at $253.37.

Arista Networks Inc. (NASDAQ: ANET): Goldman Sachs raised its target price on the Buy-rated shares to $190 from $170. The consensus target is $172.27. Wednesday’s close was at $162.86.

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