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Friday's Top Analyst Upgrades and Downgrades: CVS Health, McDonald's, Newell Brands, PacWest, ZoomInfo and More

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The futures were trading higher as we get ready to finish up a very volatile week on Wall Street. All the major indexes finished the day dramatically lower on Thursday. The April nonfarm payrolls came in above expectations, and that is a data point that could push the Federal Reserve to hike once more in June before pausing.

Investors and traders also continue to closely watch the banking system, as PacWest Bancorp crashed on Thursday, down 50%, after rumors of a possible sale surfaced. After tamping down worries of the potential for contagion in the banking system in March, those concerns are now resurfacing in a big way.

Treasury yields were higher across the curve Thursday, especially for the shorter maturities, where buyers continued to initiate or add to positions. The ongoing bank issues and uncertainty over the next move by the Federal Reserve are keeping the short-end maturities in strong demand. The two-year paper dived to a 3.79% yield, while the benchmark 10-year Treasury closed the day at 3.35% the lowest since April 6, as the inversion between the two securities continues to tighten.

Brent and West Texas Intermediate crude closed flat, after a wretched week that saw prices drop 11% in the previous three sessions. Concerns over China’s weaker than expected economic data and slowing domestic growth have heightened demand fears. The odd anomaly is that oil inventories have dropped below the five-year average for the first time this year, and that in theory should support pricing.

Gold continued to push higher as worried investors seek the safety of commodities. The last trade for Thursday saw the bullion close at $2,058, up $2.90. Bitcoin was a loser once again, dropping 0.75% to close at $28, 817.

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, May 5, 2023.

Blackbaud Inc. (NASDAQ: BLKB): Baird upgraded the stock to Outperform from Neutral and lifted its $66 target price to $84. The consensus target is $65.25. The stock closed Thursday’s session at $70.10, up over 4% on the day after topping first-quarter earnings estimates.

Builders FirstSource Inc. (NYSE: BLDR): RBC Capital Markets upgraded the company to Outperform from Sector Perform and launched the target price to $135 from $78. The consensus target is $106.71. The shares closed on Thursday at $106.87.


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