Friday's Top Analyst Upgrades and Downgrades: American Airlines, Broadcom, Chevron, DraftKings, Exxon Mobil, Hertz, McDonald's, Merck, Meta, Shopify and More

The futures were mixed, approaching the end of a solid week for stocks after some positive inflation data on Wednesday and Thursday. All the major indexes closed higher Thursday, with the inflation data clearly the strongest tailwind. Wall Street now turns its focus to first-quarter earnings, with the major money center banks dropping earnings reports today, and an onslaught of S&P 500 companies start reporting next week. Earnings growth is expected to decline for the second quarter in a row.

Yields were modestly higher across the Treasury curve Thursday, despite the encouraging producer price index (PPI) results. It was reported that the PPI numbers had the steepest decline in three years and have been less than the headline consumer price index print in 10 of the past 11 months. That could indicate why many of the issues that were backing up supply chains over the last year are dissipating.

Brent and West Texas Intermediate crude were both down over 1% on Thursday after OPEC reported inventories were less tight now than a year ago. Note that the spot prices for the two benchmarks are back near the highest levels since November. Also note that the nearly 12% drop in gasoline price last month contributed to the positive inflation prints, and that looks poised to change in April as prices have moved solidly higher. Natural gas closed down 3.8% at $2.01.

Gold rallied big for the second day in a row, finishing up over 1.25% at $2,041 and closing in on all-time highs printed in 2020 and last year. Bitcoin also surged almost 2% higher Thursday, closing over $30,000 at $30,465.

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 Friday, April 14, 2023.

American Airlines Group Inc. (NASDAQ: AAL): Valuation of the Zacks Bull of the Day stock may be intriguing as Elon Musk pursues a 51% stake, says the analyst. Shares last closed at $12.95 apiece, which is down about 34% in the past 90 days.

Autodesk Inc. (NASDAQ: ADSK): Stifel reiterated a Buy rating on the stock and has a $245 target price. The consensus target is $232.21. The shares finished the day at $196.31 on Thursday.

Broadcom Inc. (NASDAQ: AVGO): Benchmark initiated coverage with a Buy rating and a $770 target price. The target is just $687.32. The closing share price on Thursday was $624.24.

Chevron Corp. (NYSE: CVX): Scotiabank’s upgrade to Sector Outperform from Sector Perform included a target price bump to $200 from $195. The consensus target of $144.68 is much lower than Thursday’s close at $172.13.

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