Wednesday's Top Analyst Upgrades and Downgrades: Amazon, Enterprise Products Partners, Marathon Petroleum, MGM Resorts, Microsoft, Nike and More

The futures traded lower after a down day for the major indexes across Wall Street. They ended lower, except for the S&P 500, which squeaked out a small gain.

The floodgates have officially opened for S&P 500 companies’ first-quarter earnings results. So far, some of the earnings, especially for the financials, have been solid, but note that estimates and expectations have been moved so much lower over the past 6 to 8 weeks that some companies are beating expectations that would be dreadful in a normal year. In addition, there is plenty of concern about margins continuing to be compressed and earnings estimates being revised much lower. Plus, the futures market is pricing in a 90% chance for another rate hike in early May.

Treasury yields across the curve were modestly lower Monday, after some serious selling across the board over the past few sessions. The yields on the 10-year note closed at 3.57%, while the two-year paper closed at 4.20%. The inversion between the two continues to widen, after a period of compression in March following the Silicon Valley Bank implosion. The bond market views the inversion as a precursor to recession.

Brent and West Texas Intermediate crude both closed slightly higher after a 2% pullback to start off the week. While oil demand predictions for the year are all over the board, one thing is certain: we are only about six weeks from the beginning of the summer driving and vacation season. With airfare prices skyrocketing, many Americans may be driving to summer destinations this year. Natural gas was a winner again on Tuesday, closing up almost 5% to $2.38.

Gold rallied back above the $2,000 mark on Tuesday and closed at $2,006. Bitcoin, which was demolished to start the week, was up 3% to close at $30,351. The cryptocurrency has been very volatile, after a massive 2023 move higher.

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 Wednesday, April 19, 2023.

Align Technology Inc. (NASDAQ: ALGN): Stifel reiterated a Buy rating and raised its $375 target price to $390. The consensus target is $337.60. Tuesday’s final trade was for $348.05 a share.

Allstate Corp. (NYSE: ALL): Citigroup lowered its $150 price target on the Buy-rated insurance giant to $138. The consensus target is $140.7. The shares closed on Tuesday at $114.14. Inc. (NASDAQ: AMZN): Deutsche Bank reiterated a Buy rating, but it trimmed its $130 price objective to $125. The consensus target is $132.94. Tuesday’s close was at $102.30.

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