The futures were trading higher as we get set to end an action-packed week that featured another increase in the federal funds rate and some huge earnings from mega-cap technology. All the major indexes closed lower Thursday, and the Dow Jones industrial average, which was shooting for the 14th straight winning session (which would have tied a record set in June of 1897) finally had the string broken.
Many across Wall Street feel that the interest rate hikes may be coming to an end. Federal Reserve Chair Powell noted Wednesday they could pause in September and are not forecasting a recession, at least for this year. While the stars are aligned for continued stock gains, the rally may run out of steam as we hit August next week.
Treasury yields, especially on the longer maturities, surged higher across the board on Thursday after the rate hike. Economic data coming in very positive and initial jobless claims falling to their lowest level in five months spurred on the sellers. With yields on the benchmark 10-year note and 30-year bond both now over 4%, some consumer financing could become more difficult as the year wears on.
Brent and West Texas Intermediate crude both shook off Wednesday’s bout of selling, after the EIA reported only modest draws in crude and fuel inventories, and closed higher on Thursday. Traders continue to focus on the increase in demand and very tight inventories around the world. Toss in an increase in the bullish sentiment, and the ingredients are in place for a continuation of the recent move higher. In addition, natural gas closed down 6% at $2.51.
Gold closed lower on Thursday despite a rise in new home sales, as durable goods orders jumped higher than anticipated, the dollar rallied and the first-time unemployment claims came in 7,000 below estimates. Also, second-quarter gross domestic product rose at a 2.4% annualized pace in the second quarter, topping Wall Street’s 2.0% estimate. Bitcoin closed lower at $29,170.20.
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 Wall Street analyst upgrades, downgrades and initiations seen on Friday, July 28, 2023.
Apple Inc. (NASDAQ: AAPL): Bernstein reiterated a Market Perform rating and raised its target price to $195 from $175. The consensus target is $192.65. The stock closed on Thursday at $193.22.
Bilibili Inc. (NASDAQ: BILI): J.P. Morgan downgraded the shares from Overweight to Underweight with a $13 target price. The consensus target is up at $22.56. The stock closed almost 7% lower on Thursday at $16.20 after the downgrade.
Biogen Inc. (NASDAQ: BIIB): Scotiabank started coverage with a Sector Outperform rating and a $327 target price. That compares with a $337.48 consensus target and Thursday’s closing trade of $262.79.
Boeing Corp. (NYSE: BA): BofA Securities lifted its Hold rating to Buy and its $225 target price to $300. The consensus target is $236.64, and Thursday’s close was at $233.71.
Carvana Co. (NYSE: CVNA): Morgan Stanley’s downgrade to Underweight from Equal Weight included a target price hike to $35 from $12. The consensus target is $40.24. The shares closed Thursday at $40.40, down almost 8% for the day, after a huge short-squeeze rally this summer.
Coty Inc. (NYSE: COTY): The Jefferies downgrade was to Hold Buy. The analyst also trimmed the $16 target price to $14, still above the consensus target of $13.75. Thursday’s closing share price was $11.61.
Cutera Inc. (NASDAQ: CUTR): Piper Sandler upgraded the stock to Neutral from Underweight and lifted the $14 target price to $18. The consensus target is $25.25 for now. The stock closed Thursday at $18.26, which was up 23% for the day after the announcement that a new CEO will come on board.
Estee Lauder Companies Inc. (NYSE: EL): The Jefferies downgrade to Hold from Buy included a target price cut to $190 from $270. That compares with the $231.86 consensus target and Tuesday’s closing print of $173.45.
Ingevity Corp. (NYSE: NGVT): Loop Capital upgraded the stock to Buy from Hold, and its $64 target price is now $75. The consensus target is $74.14. Thursday’s $64.31 close was up almost 2% for the day on the upgrade.
Iridium Communications Inc. (NASDAQ: IRDM): Though Barclays upgraded the shares to Overweight from Equal Weight, it also trimmed its $66 target price to $65. The consensus target is $67.00. The last trade for Thursday was recorded at $52.36, up close to 3% on the day.
MaxLinear Inc. (NASDAQ: MXL): Craig Hallum downgraded the shares to Hold from Buy and has a $25 price objective. The consensus target is $37.55 for now. The stock closed almost 24% lower on Thursday at $22.55, after reports said the company terminated the acquisition of Silicon Motion.
Meta Platforms Inc. (NASDAQ: META): The Reduce rating at HSBC Securities is now at Hold with a $285 target price. The consensus target is up at $310.54. Thursday’s $311.71 close was over 4% higher for the day in the wake of stellar results.
Omega Healthcare Investors Inc. (NYSE: OHI): BMO Capital Markets started coverage with a Market Perform rating and a $34.50 target price. The consensus target is $31.27. Thursday’s final trade was for $32.16 a share.
Owens Corning (NYSE: OC): RBC Capital Markets upgraded the shares to Outperform from Sector Perform and lifted its target price to $168 from $135. The consensus target is $140.69. The shares were closed on Thursday at $139.06.
RPM International Inc. (NYSE: RPM): Deutsche Bank upgraded the stock to Buy from Hold. It also boosted its $90 target price to $118, well above the $97.53 consensus target. Thursday’s close was at $105.26.
RTX Corp. (NYSE: RTX): The BofA Securities downgrade to Neutral from Buy included a target price reduction to $95 from $120. That compares with a $104.52 consensus target and Thursday’s closing print of $85.17.
Southwest Airlines Co. (NYSE: LUV): BofA Securities cut its Buy rating to Neutral and its price target to $35 from $45. The consensus target is $43.01. The shares closed on Thursday at $33.02, down almost 9% for the day as concerns over rising costs and slowing travel demand overshadowed record revenues.
SunPower Corp. (NASDAQ: SPWR): When Baird downgraded the stock to Neutral from Outperform, its target price dropped to $12 from $24. The consensus target is $13.18. Thursday’s close was at $9.23.
Willis Tower Watson PLC (NYSE: WTW): Raymond James downgraded the shares to Outperform from Strong Buy and has a $260 price target. The consensus target is $262.38. The shares were last seen on Tuesday trading at $212.25.
Wix.com Ltd. (NYSE: WIX): D.A. Davidson initiated coverage with a Buy rating and a $100 target price. The consensus target is $110. The shares closed on Thursday at $85.86.
One smart idea for investors who think the market has run too far too fast is to look to the Dividend Aristocrats. Any company that has paid shareholders increasing dividends for 25 years or more is the epitome of safe and dependable.
Thursday’s top analyst upgrades and downgrades included Alphabet, Eli Lilly, Etsy, Microsoft, Mosaic, NetApp, Omega Healthcare Investors, RTX, Sherwin-Williams, Spotify Technology, Walt Disney and WW International.
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