The futures were mixed to start the week, and all eyes have turned to first-quarter earnings reports, which will be arriving in a big way this week. All the major indexes closed lower on Friday, despite some big banks posting outstanding and, to some, surprising results. While the inflation data last week was positive, much of the decline in the headline consumer price index number was due to falling gasoline prices, which may very well be higher by the time of the next report. However, for now, earnings remain the biggest risk, with some strategists predicting that consensus earnings estimates could drop another 10% to 20%.
Treasury yields jumped higher on Friday, with yields up across all the maturities. The yield on the two-year paper jumped back over the 4% level, up 13 basis points to close at 4.10%. The benchmark 10-year note finished the day at 3.52%, so the inversion stayed in place for yet another week. Typically, lower money supply and the inversion portend a recession is likely on the way.
Brent and West Texas Intermediate crude both ended the day higher and finished the week up a very solid 2%. The International Energy Agency warned of the potential for a significant supply deficit later this year, and that supplied a tailwind to higher prices on Friday. Natural gas finished the day solidly higher at $2.11, up over 5%.
Gold took a breather Friday after prices crept back close to all-time highs last week. The bullion closed the day down over 1.75% to finish at $2,005. Bitcoin, which has been on fire this year, ended Friday modestly higher at $30,461.
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, April 17, 2023.
Altria Group Inc. (NYSE: MO): Stifel resumed coverage with a Buy rating and a $52 target price. The consensus target is $49.63, and Friday’s final trade was for $45.03 a share.
Archer Daniels Midland Co. (NYSE: ADM): BMO Capital Markets resumed coverage with an Outperform rating and a $100 target. The consensus target is $100.81. The stock closed on Friday at $81.79.
Baidu Inc. (NASDAQ: BIDU): Citing its Ernie AI chatbot, Zacks named the so-called Google of China as its Bull of the Day stock. Shares last closed at $128.75, and the consensus price target of $181.30 would be a 52-week high.
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