Thursday's Top Analyst Upgrades and Downgrades: Cinemark, CrowdStrike, DoorDash, Estee Lauder, McDonald's, ServiceNow, Virgin Galactic and More

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The futures were trading lower after the major indexes closed decidedly mixed, as the venerable Dow Jones industrial average closed lower while the tech-heavy Nasdaq and the S&P 500 both hit 52-week highs again on Wednesday. As expected, the Federal Reserve paused the rate hikes that have come at every meeting for over a year now. While it may be the pause that refreshes, Fed Chair Powell stated that two more rate hikes were likely on the way later this year.

While the consumer price index data this week was encouraging, the rate of inflation, especially at the core level, is still way above the benchmarks that the Fed has set. U.S. producer prices, reported Wednesday, jumped 1.1% over the last year, marking the 11th consecutive decline in the year-over-year rate of change and the lowest print since December 2020. The index peaked at 11.7% in March 2022.

Treasury yields were down across the curve as bond traders seemingly were positioned to Buy after rates had crept back up to levels not seen since March. The Treasury Department will be hitting the market with a tsunami of inventory of all government maturities, which is estimated at a stunning $1 trillion as the country’s coffers need to be refilled. The 10-year paper closed the day down four basis points at 3.80%, while the two-year note closed at 4.69%, flat on the day. The inversion between the two still indicates a recession could be on the way.

Brent and West Texas Intermediate crude had a weak day, with both closing down following Tuesday’s solid 3.5% gain. The tug-of-war over China demand still is the leading headline, along with slowing production, as the rig count has continued to fall on a weekly basis. Natural gas finished the day unchanged at $2.34.

Gold continued its slow start to the week by closing lower at $1,955.70. Traders cited the drop in the producer price index and the general malaise around the bullion over the past month as the reason for the recent weakness. Bitcoin was hammered also on Wednesday, continuing a dreadful stretch that has been aided by worries over regulation. The cryptocurrency finished the day at $25,086, down over 3%.

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.

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