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Wednesday's Top Wall Street Analyst Upgrades and Downgrades: Activision Blizzard, Carnival, Citigroup, DraftKings, Foot Locker, Pinterest, Shopify and More

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The futures traded flat on Wednesday, after another big day across Wall Street that saw the venerable Dow Jones industrials lead the way higher (on huge strength from Microsoft), closing up over 1%. All the major indexes finished the day higher. The song remains the same, as disinflation is still gaining traction, while some positive earnings out of the gate for the second quarter are also providing a tailwind for stocks. One good sign for the bulls is the market breadth is improving as small caps and financials caught a bid Tuesday.

Treasury yields were flat to lower across the curve, as the buyers returned to the safe haven government debt. One item Tuesday that sent the buyers there may have been the very weak retail sales print for June, which came in up 0.2%, versus expectations of a 0.5% gain. While it is widely expected the Federal Reserve will raise rates again at its end of July meeting, how much beyond those levels, which would put federal funds rate at 5.25% to 5.50%, now remains the toss-up.

Brent and West Texas Intermediate crude had a solid Tuesday, recouping some of Monday’s losses as both of the benchmarks closed higher on the day. Brent finished up 1.7% at $79.81, while WTI closed 2.2% higher at $75.78, despite just a small draw in crude inventories. Natural gas closed higher by over 4% at $2.62.

Gold had a big day on Tuesday, closing at $1,982.80 for a solid 1.2% gain. Analysts cited the weak retail sales print and the continued weakness in the U.S. dollar for the strength that took the bullion to the highest levels in over a month. Bitcoin fell below the $30,000 level, closing down 1.2% at $29,772.80.

24/7 Wall St. reviews dozens of analyst research reports each weekday 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 Wednesday, July 19, 2023.

Activision Blizzard Inc. (NASDAQ: ATVI): Wells Fargo downgraded the shares to Equal Weight from Overweight and has a $95 target. The consensus target is $92.83, and Tuesday’s close was at $92.74. Most across Wall Street feel that the deal with Microsoft is finally all but done.

Brinker International Inc. (NYSE: EAT): Piper Sandler initiated coverage with a Neutral rating and a $40 target price. The consensus target is $38.50, and the stock closed on Tuesday at $38.49.


Camden Property Trust (NYSE: CPT): The BMO Capital Markets upgrade was from Market Perform to Outperform with a target price of $125. The consensus target is $126.25. The stock ended Tuesday’s session trading at $110.62.
Carnival Corp. & PLC (NYSE: CCL): Argus upgraded the stock to Buy from Hold and has a $21 target. The consensus target is $16.46. The shares closed on Tuesday at $18.25, which was up over 3% for the day on the upgrade and the strong tape.

Casey’s General Stores Inc. (NASDAQ: CASY): Credit Suisse’s upgrade to Outperform from Neutral came with a target price hike to $285 from $235. The consensus target is $262.27. Tuesday’s close was at $255.75.

Citigroup Inc. (NYSE: C): Odeon’s Hold rating is now at Buy, with a $50.51 target price. The consensus target is $55.70. The last trade Tuesday came in at $47.02.

Coherent Corp. (NYSE: COHR): BofA Securities cut its Buy rating to Neutral with a $55 target price. The consensus target is $48.73. The stock closed over 5% lower on Tuesday at $48.37 after the downgrade.

Cryoport Inc. (NASDAQ: CYRX): When UBS downgraded the stock to Neutral from Buy, it also lowered its $28 target price to $17. That compares with a $26.25 consensus target and Tuesday’s closing share price of $15.90.

Darden Restaurants Inc. (NYSE: DRI): Piper Sandler initiated coverage with a Neutral rating and a $167 target price. The consensus target is up at $173.80, and the stock closed on Tuesday at $170.09.


DraftKings Inc. (NASDAQ: DKNG): Roth MKM reiterated a Sell rating but did nudge its $18 target price up to $20. The consensus target is $29.77, and Tuesday’s close was at $31.29.

Foot Locker Inc. (NYSE: FL): Its Bear of the Day stock is a clear laggard in the apparel and footwear space, says Zacks. Shares have traded as high as $47.22 in the past year but closed most recently at $26.00. That is down about 37% in the past 90 days.

FREYR Battery (NYSE: FREY): As Goldman Sachs downgraded the stock to Neutral from Buy, its $14 target price slipped to $10. The consensus target is $26.25. The last trade on Tuesday was for $8.89 a share. That was down over 7% for the day after the downgrade.

Leslie’s Inc. (NASDAQ: LESL): Loop Capital cut its rating to Hold from Buy and its price target to $6 from $16. The consensus target is $10.23. Tuesday’s $5.68 close was up over 4% for the day. The stock has been mauled over the past week, and that close could be a dead-cat bounce.
Lumentum Holdings Inc. (NASDAQ: LITE): BofA Securities downgraded the shares from Neutral to Underperform with a $50 target price. The consensus target is $54.63. The stock closed at $52.10 on Tuesday.

MACOM Technology Solutions Holdings Inc. (NASDAQ: MTSI): The BofA Securities downgrade was to Neutral from Buy, and it has a $72 target price. The consensus target is $65.00, shy of Tuesday’s close at $65.51.

Masimo Corp. (NASDAQ: MASI): Stifel downgraded the stock to Hold from Buy. The firm also slashed its $205 target price to $120, well below the consensus target of $186.75. Tuesday’s close at $1178.73 was down 20% for the day in the wake of disappointing preliminary results.

Melco Resorts & Entertainment Ltd. (NASDAQ: MLCO): Macquarie started coverage with an Outperform rating and a $16.30 target price. The consensus target is $15.84, and the stock ended Tuesday trading at $13.00 a share.

Pinterest Inc. (NYSE: PINS): Evercore ISI raised its In Line rating to Outperform with a target price of $41. The consensus target is just $29.36, but the shares finished Tuesday at $30.31, up close to 4% on the day.


Shopify Inc. (NYSE: SHOP): Evercore ISI downgraded the stock to In Line from Outperform. Its $69 target price is still above the $62.45 consensus target, but the last trade on Tuesday was for $67.26 a share.

Trade Desk Inc. (NASDAQ: TTD) New Street downgraded the shares to Sell from Neutral, yet the analyst raised the target price to $69 from $57. The consensus target is $75.01. The stock closed over 2% lower on Tuesday at $88.53.

UnitedHealth Group Inc. (NYSE: UNH): Bernstein boosted its Market Perform rating to Outperform and its $595 target price to $603. That compares with a $571.65 consensus target and Tuesday’s closing print of $500, which was up over 3% on the day.


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Tuesday’s top analyst upgrades and downgrades included Alphabet, Apple, Aramark, AT&T, Chewy, Etsy, Fisker, Frontier Communications Parent, Leslie’s, Meta Platforms, Netflix, Nvidia, PACCAR, Progressive, Tesla, Twilio and Wells Fargo.

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