Friday's Top Analyst Upgrades and Downgrades: Alphabet, Citizens Financial, Emerson Electric, GE, Las Vega Sands, Medical Properties Trust, Microsoft, Nio, Raytheon, Tesla and More

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The futures traded lower after a dreadful Thursday that saw all the major indexes finish the day lower. The Dow Jones industrial average posted its first back-to-back losses in a month. Big-time earnings disappointments from AT&T and American Express got the selling started, and some very cautious commentary from big tech helped keep it going. While many strategists continue to predict the Federal Reserve will pivot and even lower rates this year, the reality is that with inflation remaining stubbornly higher than expected, not only will rates go up another 25 basis points in early May, some now feel there could be two rate hikes after that.

Treasury yields were lower across the curve Thursday, as buyers returned as the stock market rolled over. The rush to the safety of government securities came as the yield on the two-year note had jumped a stunning 50 basis points in less than a month. The short paper closed Thursday at 4.15%. With the 10-year note closing at 3.55%, the inversion between the two remained at 60 basis points.

Brent and West Texas Intermediate crude were down again, as the latter fell back below the $80 level to close the day at $77.85. While oil has backed up from the big move higher, which was a result of OPEC announcing a big production cut, analysts cite the summer driving season and increased Chinese demand as support for higher prices to come. Natural gas closed lower on the day at $2.20.

Gold closed flat but back over the $2,000 level at $2003 as worried investors hurry back to the bullion. Some feel that gold can take a run at new all-time highs, especially if there is any big-time weakness in the equity markets. Bitcoin closed lower again on Thursday, down 1.85% at $28,277.

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 21, 2023.

Alphabet Inc. (NASDAQ: GOOGL): Bernstein reiterated a Buy rating on the search giant and trimmed its $130 target price to $125. The consensus target is $124.64. Thursday’s closing share price was $105.29.

Capri Holdings Ltd. (NYSE: CPRI): Raymond James upgraded the stock from Outperform to Strong Buy with a $60 target price. The consensus target is $60.03. The stock closed on Thursday at $45.69.

Chegg Inc. (NYSE: CHGG): Craig Hallum raised its Hold rating to Buy and its $20 target price to $25. The consensus target is $20.38. The stock closed over 5% on Thursday at $18.60 after the upgrade.

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