The futures were trading modestly higher after another strong trading day to start off the week. All the major indexes finished the day in the green, as all the attention turns to the Federal Reserve’s two-day meeting, which likely will end tomorrow with yet another 25-basis-point increase in the federal funds rate. Barring a reignition of the inflation rate, which has fallen from 9.1% last summer to 3.0% now, many economists and Wall Street strategists feel that after 16 long months, this interest rate increase cycle could be over.
Treasury yields were higher across the curve Monday, as sellers of the safe-haven government debt closed positions in front of the Federal Reserve meeting. It is quite possible if Fed Chair Powell indicates that rate hikes are over, that there could be a substantial rally in some of the longer-dated maturities, which have traded at or below the 4% level for years. There is a contingent on Wall Street that feels a September rate hike could remain on the table.
Brent and West Texas Intermediate crude both surged another 2% higher on Monday, after the two benchmarks closed over 2% higher on Friday to complete the fourth straight week of gains for the black gold. Traders cited continued demand strength, the Saudi production cuts that were extended through August, and the possibility of more China economic stimulus as positives for the sector. Natural gas finished flat Monday at $2.69.
Gold pushed lower on Monday, as traders are keeping a close eye on the Federal Reserve meeting and will closely scrutinize the statement that will accompany the decision on Wednesday. Bitcoin took a beating on Monday, falling over 3% to close at $29,115. A huge levered futures trade was cited as one reason for the sell-off.
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 Tuesday, July 25, 2023.
American Express Co. (NYSE: AXP): Piper Sandler downgraded the stock to Underweight from Neutral and lowered its $172 target price to $149. The consensus target is higher at $185.74. The stock closed on Monday at $167.75.
Apple Inc. (NASDAQ: AAPL): Deutsche Bank reiterated a Buy on the tech superstar and raised the $180 target price to $210. The consensus target is $191.16, and shares closed on Monday at $192.75.
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