The futures were trading up as we reach the end of yet another rollercoaster trading week for the stock market. On Thursday, the S&P 500, the Nasdaq and the Dow Jones industrials all posted solid gains. Positive numbers from Walmart set the tone early, while the potential for a debt ceiling agreement early next week also provided a tailwind for stocks. One fly in the ointment was the threat for President Biden to invoke the 14th amendment, as members of Congress wrangle over a package of budget cuts.
Treasury yields were higher again across the curve on Thursday, and once again the biggest selling was in the shorter-dated maturities. Commentary from Dallas Fed President Logan may have sparked the selling, as he opined that the current inflation data does not justify rate hikes being halted. Toss in the fact that U.S. commercial real estate prices fell for the first time in a decade, and the sellers had all the ammo they needed. The 10-year note closed at 3.65%, while the two-year finished the day at 4.26%, expanding the ongoing inversion, which often signals recession.
Brent and West Texas Intermediate crude both close the day lower, giving back a big chunk of the gains from Wednesday. Once again, worried traders pointed to the ongoing angst over the potential for a default by the government, which trumped some very promising earnings. Natural gas had a big day, closing up almost 10% at $2.59. Hot weather across the United States and the rest of the world triggered some of the buying.
Gold once again faced a barrage of selling, with the bullion finishing the day down another 1.25% at $1960.10. Bitcoin also had a rough go of it, down 2.45% on Thursday to close at $26,738.
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 19, 2023.
Albemarle Corp. (NYSE: ALB): UBS upgraded the stock to Buy from Neutral and raised its $196 price target to $225. The consensus target is up at $261.65. The stock closed on Thursday at $210.14.
Amazon.com Inc. (NASDAQ: AMZN): Jefferies reiterated a Buy rating with a $135 target price. The consensus target is $133.72. Thursday’s close was at $118.15.
Arcellx Inc. (NASDAQ: ACLX): Truist Financial initiated coverage with a Buy rating and a $60 target price. The consensus target is $50.44. Thursday’s final trade was reported at $41.20.
Array Technologies Inc. (NASDAQ: ARRY): Seaport Research Partners initiated coverage with a Buy rating and a $30 target price. The consensus target is lower at $26.86. The shares closed on Thursday at $22.96.
BankUnited Inc. (NYSE: BKU): Goldman Sachs cut its $23 target price on the Sell-rated shares to $20. The consensus target is $27.05. Thursday’s final trade was for $18.98 a share.
BlackBerry Ltd. (NYSE: BB): CIBC upgraded the former meme stock favorite to Neutral from Sector Underperform, and its $4.20 price target rose to $6.50. The consensus target is $4.78. The shares closed on Thursday at $5.41.
Braze Inc. (NASDAQ: BRZE): Scotiabank started coverage with a Sector Perform rating and a target price of $34. The consensus target is $40. The stock closed at $30.85 on Thursday.
Dynatrace Inc. (NYSE: DT): BTIG Research upgraded the shares to Buy from Neutral rating. Its $57 target price is well above the $49.63 consensus target. Thursday’s close at $49.18 was up almost 5% on the day following solid quarterly earnings.
Futu Holdings Ltd. (NASDAQ: FUTU): J.P. Morgan cut its Overweight rating to Neutral and its $65 target price to $46. The consensus target is $58.10. Thursday’s $38.66 close was down close to 7% on the day due to multiple downgrades across Wall Street.
Gap Inc. (NYSE: GPS): Goldman Sachs trimmed its $16 target price to $14 but stuck with a Buy rating. The consensus target is $11.47. The shares closed on Thursday at $8.11, up over 4% for the day.
Hanover Insurance Group Inc. (NYSE: THG): BofA Securities downgraded the stock to Neutral from Buy. It also lowered its $142 target price to $130, well below the consensus target of $149.00. The stock closed on Thursday at $119.52.
Magellan Midstream Partners L.P. (NYSE: MMP): Though RBC Capital Markets downgraded the stock to Sector Perform from Outperform, it also raised its $59 target price to $66. The consensus target is $61.52. The shares closed on Thursday at $62.67. The company recently signed an $18.8 billion merger agreement with ONEOK.
Mosaic Co. (NYSE: MOS): Citing the bearishness of analysts, Zacks named this fertilizer producer as its Bear of the Day stock. Shares have traded as high as $64.62 in the past year but closed most recently at $35.79. That is down more than 28% in the past 90 days.
Pliant Therapeutics Inc. (NASDAQ: PLRX): Canaccord Genuity initiated coverage with a Buy rating and a $48 target price. The consensus target is $46.75. The shares finished Thursday at $22.14, a one-day gain of almost 3%.
Procter & Gamble Co. (NYSE: PG): When Truist Financial cut its Buy rating to Hold, its price objective dropped to $155 from $165. The consensus target is $164.77. The shares closed on Thursday at $152.53.
Regions Financial Corp. (NYSE: RF): Goldman Sachs lowered its $24 target price on the Buy-rated shares to $21. The consensus target is $22.13. Thursday’s closing share price was $16.99.
Selective Insurance Group Inc. (NASDAQ: SIGI): BofA Securities downgraded the stock to Underperform from Neutral. Its $101 target price slipped to $97, below the $100.83 consensus target. The stock closed on Thursday at $101.47.
Skechers USA Inc. (NYSE: SKX): Zacks selected this footwear maker as its Bull of the Day stock, citing its record revenue in the first quarter. Shares last closed at $54.02, and the consensus price target of $58.01 would be a 52-week high.
Snap-On Inc. (NYSE: SNA): MKM Partners upgraded the shares to Buy from Neutral and raised its $278 target price to $298. The $248.41 consensus target is below Thursday’s close at $261.26.
Take-Two Interactive Software Inc. (NASDAQ: TTWO): Benchmark reiterated a Buy rating and raised the price target to $145 from $120. The consensus target is $133.08, and the stock closed almost 12% higher on Thursday at $139.63 after posting strong earnings and releasing new titles.
Target Corp. (NYSE: TGT): Jefferies reiterated a Buy rating. Its $191 price objective compares with a $179.45 consensus target and Thursday’s closing print of $154.18, which was down over 4% on the day.
TJX Companies Inc. (NYSE: TJX): Barclays reiterated an Overweight rating and bumped its $93 target price to $95. The consensus target is $87.47. The stock ended Thursday’s session at $79.27.
Varonis Systems Inc. (NASDAQ: VRNS): D.A. Davidson started coverage with a Buy rating and a $30 target. The consensus target is $31.67. The stock closed almost 4% higher on Thursday at $24.84 on the solid initiation.
WEC Energy Group Inc. (NYSE: WEC): Mizuho upgraded its Neutral rating to Buy with a $98 target price. The consensus target is up at $102.44. Thursday’s close was at $89.34.
Wolfspeed Inc. (NYSE: WOLF): Jefferies started coverage with a Hold rating and a $46 target price. The consensus target is $68.69. Thursday’s close at $43.18 was up close to 3% for the day.
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Thursday’s top analyst upgrades and downgrades included Analog Devices, AppLovin, Goodyear Tire & Rubber, Home Depot, iQIYI, Knight-Swift Transportation, Kohl’s, Lowe’s Companies, Marriott International, Nutrien, Tencent Music Group and Wynn Resorts.
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