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.
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