Thursday's Top Analyst Upgrades and Downgrades: Apple, Bank of America, Exxon Mobil, Goldman Sachs, Meta, Netflix, Starbucks, Tesla, Walmart and More

The futures were lower, after a back-and-forth trading day Wednesday that saw the Dow Jones industrials and the S&P 500 end lower while the Nasdaq finished modestly higher. The song remains the same across Wall Street, as quarterly reports for the top S&P 500 companies continue to roll in. While earnings are the main attraction now, Wall Street is keeping a close eye on the debt limit discussions, as lower tax revenues could bring the deadline for raising the debt limit to prevent default to June from later in the summer.

The continued rise in Treasury yields across the curve was one of the biggest headwinds for the market on Wednesday, as the two-year yield closed at 4.25% and is up over 50 basis points in less than a month. The benchmark 10-year note also sold off and closed the day at 3.60%, keeping the inversion between the two in place. Bond traders see this inversion as a sign that a recession may be coming.

Brent and West Texas Intermediate crude both finished the day lower despite a big drawdown in crude inventories for the period ending April 14 of 4.6 million barrels. Natural gas also closed the day down over 6% to $2.20, after a strong move higher this week on unseasonably cold weather across parts of the United States.

Gold also took it on the chin Wednesday, after a solid run higher over the past month. The bullion finished the day down less than half a percent to close at $1,996. Bitcoin was battered as well, down a stunning 3.8% to close at $29,222.

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 20, 2023.

Alliant Energy Corp. (NASDAQ: LNT): Wells Fargo upgraded the stock to Overweight from Equal Weight and boosted its $58 target price to $61. The consensus target is $57.25, and Wednesday’s closing share price was $55.29.

Apple Inc. (NASDAQ: AAPL): J.P. Morgan reiterated an Overweight rating and lifted its $170 target price to $190. The consensus target is $170.50. Wednesday’s final trade was for $167.63 a share.

Aramark (NYSE: ARMK): Bernstein initiated coverage with a Market Perform rating and a $38 target price. The consensus target is $43.99. The stock closed on Wednesday at $35.12.

Bank of America Corp. (NYSE: BAC): When UBS reiterated a Buy rating, it bumped its $34 target price to $36. Citigroup reiterated a Neutral rating and cut its $38 target price to $33, while Oppenheimer reiterated an Outperform rating and its prior $44 target price is now $47. The consensus target is $35.95. Its stock closed on Wednesday at $30.06, despite posting solid results.

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