The futures traded higher, after a solid start to the week in which all the major indexes rallied over the final hour of trading and finished the day higher. First-quarter earnings are center stage this week, as 60 S&P 500 companies will be reporting. Another huge issue for investors is one that many feel could hold the biggest tail risk, and that is the ongoing discussions on the debt ceiling.
Speaker of the House Kevin McCarthy outlined some of the Republican demands for spending cuts in a speech at the New York Stock Exchange Monday, pledging to pass a bill to raise the debt ceiling on the condition of capping future federal spending at 1%. Massive federal spending has been cited as one of the biggest reasons for the spike in inflation over the past 18 months.
Treasury yields were up across the curve to start out the week, as markets are now pricing in yet another 25-basis-point increase in the federal funds rate in early May. The increase would take the rate to 5.00% to 5.25%, a level that some feel could be where Federal Reserve Chair Powell is ready to pause. The 10-year note closed at 3.59%, while the two-year closed at 4.20%, both at the highest levels since early March, as the inversion between the two widened.
Brent and West Texas Intermediate crude both finished the day lower, after gaining more than 2% last week. The big energy story Monday was natural gas spiking over 8% to $2.29 as unseasonably cold weather settled in on the central United States. Gold also traded lower, back below the $2,000 level to close at $1,996, while Bitcoin was hammered, down almost 3% at $29,480.
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 Tuesday, April 18, 2023.
Agilon Health Inc. (NYSE: AGL): Truist Financial raised its $29 target price on the Buy-rated stock to $35. The consensus target is $29.35. Monday’s final trade was for $27.43 a share.
Backblaze Inc. (NASDAQ: BLZE): Oppenheimer lowered its $8.50 target price to $7.50 but kept an Outperform rating. The consensus target is $10.58. The shares closed up 2% on Monday at $4.75.
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Boston Scientific Corp. (NYSE: BSX): Truist Financial reiterated a Buy rating, but its $59 target price fell to $54. The consensus target is $53.37. Monday’s close was at $51.74.
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