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Wednesday’s Top Analyst Upgrade and Downgrades: Alcoa, Apple, Generac, Jetblue Airways, JPMorgan Chase, Microstrategy, NVIDIA, Norfolk Southern, Toast, Zillow Group and More

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The futures are trading higher as we hit the middle of the trading week after a follow-through session on Tuesday that once again saw all of the major indices finish the day higher. While the consumer-price-index data was largely in line with expectations, many on Wall Street still expect the Federal Reserve to raise rates once again when they meet in two weeks. The potential increase is backed by Fed-funds futures that reflect a 95% probability of a quarter-point hike on July 26, according to the CME.

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Treasury yields were flat to down across the curve Tuesday as investors and bond traders waited for this morning’s CPI data. With three top Fed officials backing more rate hikes publicly, and the potential for the economy to face some hurdles the rest of the year, not the least of which will be slowing consumer spending as student payments resume, many see rates continuing higher. The benchmark 10-year note closed at 3.99%, while the 2-year paper finished at 4.89%, keeping the inversion in place.

Brent Crude and West Texas Intermediate both finished the day solidly higher, with both indexes up well over 2% as sentiment for the sector continues to improve. The extension of Saudi production continues to be the wind behind the energy complex. Natural gas also had a solid day, closing up almost 2% at $2.74.

Gold also had a solid day yesterday and closed near a three-week high at $1937.40. Analysts cited the weaker dollar and the recent inflation data as the tailwind. Bitcoin traded flat on Tuesday, closing modestly higher at $30,578.80.

24/7 Wall St. reviews dozens of analyst research reports each day of the week with a goal of finding new 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 Wednesday, July 12, 2023.

Alcoa Corporation (NYSE: AA) Wolfe Research downgraded the stock to Underperform from Peer Perform and has a $25 target price. The consensus target across Wall Street is posted at $44.15. The stock closed trading on Tuesday at $34.69, up almost 2%.

Apple Inc. (NASDAQ: AAPL) KeyBanc Capital Markets reiterated an Overweight rating on the tech giant and raised their target price to $200 from $180. The Wall Street consensus target is $188.47. The stock closed trading Tuesday at $188.08.

Everbridge, Inc. (NASDAQ: EVBG) Needham upgraded the company to Buy from Hold and has set a $35 target. The consensus for the company is set lower at $29.80. The final Wednesday trade was posted at $29.28, up close to 8% on the upgrade.

Generac, Inc. (NASDAQ: GNRC) Argus upgraded the shares to Buy from Hold and has a $155 target price. The consensus target is posted at $139.81. The shares ended trading Tuesday at $147.49 up over 4% on positive Wall Street comments and the upgrade.

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Gentherm Incorporated (NASDAQ: THRM) Baird downgraded the shares to Neutral from Outperform and lowered the target price to $65 from $73. That is versus the consensus objective on Wall Street of $70.67 for now. The stock was last seen on Tuesday at $53.31, down almost 5%, likely due to the downgrade.

Hancock Whitney Corporation (NYSE: HWC) Jefferies downgraded the regional banking firm to Hold from Buy and lowered their target price to $42 from $45. The consensus target is posted much higher at $45.17. The stock closed Tuesday at $40.57.

JetBlue Airways, Corporation (NASDAQ: JBLU) Evercore ISI downgraded the airline to Underperform from In Line and has an $8 target price. The consensus is $8.50. The final trade Tuesday landed at $9.04, down close to 3% on the downgrade.

JPMorgan Chase & Co. (NYSE: JPM) Jefferies upgraded the money center giant to Buy from Hold and raised their target price objective to $165 from $149. That is versus the $161.29 consensus and Tuesday’s closing trade of $147.42.

MicroStrategy Incorporated (NASDAQ: MSTR) BTIG Research resumed coverage on the company with a Buy rating to go with a $490 target price objective. That is versus the much lower $336.67 consensus and Tuesday’s closing print of $412.30.

NVIDIA Corporation (NASDAQ: NVDA) KeyBanc Capital Markets reiterated an Overweight rating on the AI chip giant and raised their target price objective to $550 from $500. The consensus is posted at $434.08. The shares ended Tuesday at $424.05.

Norfolk Southern Corporation (NYSE: NSC) Vertical Research upgraded the shares to Buy from Hold. The target price for the company is $260. The consensus for the stock is set at $237.79. The stock ended trading Tuesday at $232.02.

Procore Technologies, Inc. (NASDAQ: PCOR) Scotiabank upgraded the stock to Sector Outperform from Sector Perform and set an $81 target. The consensus target is posted at $76.07. The last trade on Tuesday was reported at $68.99, up almost 6% after the upgrade.

The Scotts Miracle-Gro Company (NYSE: SMG) Truist Financial upgraded the shares to Buy from Hold and raised the target price to $80 from $65. The consensus target for the company is $76.72. The last trade on Tuesday was filled at $72.41, up over 10% on the upgrade.

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Toast, Inc. (NASDAQ: TOST) Jefferies started coverage with a Buy rating and a $25 target price. The consensus is set at $23.71. Tuesday’s last trade was recorded at $23.50.

Truist Financial Corporation (NYSE: TFC) Jefferies downgraded the brokerage and banking firm to Hold from Buy and lowered their target price to $32 from $37.. The consensus target is posted much higher at $37.60. The stock closed Tuesday at $32.48.

U.S. Bancorp (NYSE: USB) BofA Securities upgraded the stock to Buy from Neutral and raised their target price to $40 from $38. The consensus is set at $42.36. The last trade Tuesday came in at $34.94 up close to 4% on the upgrade.

Vale S.A. (NYSE: VALE) Wolfe Research upgraded the stock to Outperform from Peer Perform with a $17 target. The consensus is $16.39. The last trade Tuesday hit the tape at $13.72, higher by 4% on the upgrade.

VeriSign, Inc. (NASDAQ: VRSN) Baird downgraded the shares to Neutral from Outperform and lowered the target price to $245 from $265. That compares with the consensus objective on Wall Street of $239.70 for now. The stock was last seen on Tuesday at $213.73, down over 5%, due to the downgrade.

Zillow Group, Inc. (NYSE: ZG) Piper Sandler upgraded the stock to Overweight from Neutral and raised their target price in a big way to $62 from $42. The consensus for the company is posted at $47.88. The last trade Tuesday came in at $51.52, up almost 11% on the upgrade.

Zions Bancorporation (NASDAQ: ZION) Jefferies downgraded the bank to Hold from Buy and lowered their target price to $30 from $37. The consensus target is posted higher at $33.53. The stock closed Tuesday at $30.42.

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