The futures were trading higher to end the holiday-shortened trading week after the nonfarm payroll numbers came in greater than expected. All the major indexes finished the day higher on Thursday after the House of Representatives passed the debt ceiling limit bill that essentially kicks the proverbial can down the road until 2025. All eyes will now focus on June 13, when the Federal Reserve will meet for its June meeting and the consumer price index numbers for May will be released. A big inflation number combined with a still-strong job market may be enough for yet another 25-basis-point hike in rates.
Treasury yields were once again lower, as safe-haven buyers continued to add to positions. With the debt deal done (the Senate passed the bill Thursday night), bond traders also will be preparing for the Fed meeting. With mortgage rates back over 7% for the third time this year, it is a good bet that even if the Fed does pause in June, it could very well be back raising rates again in July.
Brent and West Texas Intermediate both posted a solid day, with both of the benchmarks up well over 2% after a dreadful week that saw prices hammered down to levels not seen since mid-March. Crude inventory remained about 2% below the five-year average posted for this time of year. Once again, the debt bill passage provided a tailwind, and a smaller than expected inventory build also added support. Natural gas closed lower, down almost 5% to $4.16.
Gold closed higher for the second day in a row at $1,995 for the August contract, which kept a rally in place after the bullion had recently fallen to two-month lows. Lower eurozone inflation numbers and hopes for a Fed pause helped to push prices higher. Bitcoin had another weak day, tumbling 1.1% to close at $26,924. Six weeks ago, the cryptocurrency giant traded over the $30,000 level.
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, June 2, 2023.
Advance Auto Parts Inc. (NYSE: AAP): When BofA Securities downgraded the shares to Neutral from Buy, its $178 target price tumbled to $85. The consensus target is $123.63 for now. The stock ended Thursday’s session at $68.03, down close to 7% on the day, after dreadful results posted earlier this week and the dividend slashed.
Aramark (NASDAQ: ARMK): UBS initiated coverage with a Neutral rating and a $42 target price. The consensus target is $43.33. The stock closed on Thursday at $39.05.
AutoZone Inc. (NYSE: AZO): BofA Securities raised its Underperform rating to Neutral and its $2,120 target price to $2,465. The consensus target is up at $2,759.29, and Thursday’s closing share price was $2,374.68.
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