The futures traded lower as we get ready to start another trading week, after good inflation news last Thursday turned into bad inflation news on Friday when the producer price index came in hotter than expected. The surprising print unleashed the sellers, and all the major indexes (except for the Dow Jones industrials) closed lower on the day. The Nasdaq, which has led the rally in 202,3 closed lower for the second straight week for the first time in 2023. One thing seems for sure at this point: if the consumer price index numbers for August (which will be released on September 13) come in above expectations, then another 25-basis-point increase in the federal funds rate is almost assured when the FOMC meets later in the month.
Treasury yields were higher across the curve Friday, as the surprising inflation data brought the sellers out, especially in the three-year to 10-year maturities. The 10-year note finished the day at 4.16%, while the two-year closed trading at 4.90%. The inversion still indicates to bond traders a recession is likely, although most feel it could be a 2024 event at this juncture.
Brent and West Texas Intermediate crude traded higher on Friday after sellers took the floor on Thursday. The International Energy Agency reported on Friday that world oil demand hit a record high in June of 103 million barrels per day (BPD) in June and could be poised to break that record in August. World oil demand is expected to grow by 2.2 million BPD, with China responsible for a stunning 70% of that growth. Brent closed Friday at $86.68, while WTI finished the day at $83.14. Natural gas closed modestly higher at $2.79.
After a rough week, gold finished slightly lower on Friday. In line consumer sentiment and the producer inflation data kept a lid on the bullion. The December contract finished the day at $1945.90. Bitcoin, which has been range-bound for much of the summer, finished Friday lower at $29,378.40.
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 Monday, August 14, 2023.
Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. (NYSE: BABA): DZ Bank upgraded the stock to Buy from Hold. Its $120 target price is lower than the consensus target of $138.11. The shares closed on Friday at $95.76, down almost 4% on the day.
Amazon.com Inc. (NASDAQ: AMZN): Redburn reiterated a Buy rating and raised its target price to $230 from $220. The consensus target is just $168.59, and Friday’s last trade was for $138.41 a share.
AppLovin Corp. (NASDAQ: APP): Oppenheimer raised its $25 target price on Buy-rated shares all the way to $45. The consensus target is $34.36. Friday’s $38.89 close was up almost 5% for the day after crushing estimates last week and on the potential for the company’s updated AI engine.
Corteva Inc. (NYSE: CTVA): Citing falling estimates, Zacks named this stock as its Bear of the Day. Shares of this spin-off from DowDuPont have traded as high as $68.43 in the past year but fell to a 52-week low of $51.97 on Friday.
CyberArk Software Ltd. (NASDAQ: CYBR): Oppenheimer maintained an Outperform rating with a $195 target price. The consensus target is $185.23, and Friday’s close was at $156.43.
Forward Air Inc. (NASDAQ: FWRD): When Stifel downgraded the stock to Hold from Buy, its $127 price target fell to $103. The consensus target is $124.50 for now. Friday’s $77.65 close was down 25% for the day after the company announced a merger with Omni Logistics.
Hershey Co. (NYSE: HSY): Though Argus reiterated a Buy rating, the analyst slashed the target price to $270 from $315. The consensus target is lower at $263.79. Friday’s final trade was for $223.62 a share.
Himax Technologies Inc. (NASDAQ: HIMX): Credit Suisse upgraded the stock from Neutral to Outperform with an $8 target price. The consensus target is $7.65. On Friday, the stock closed over 3% higher at $6.76 after the upgrade.
Holley Inc. (NYSE: HLLY): Zacks selected this specialty auto parts manufacturer as its Bull of the Day stock, citing momentum after a big beat. Shares last closed at $7.90, after hitting a new 52-week high of $8.06 earlier in the day.
Kodiak Gas Services Inc. (NYSE: KGS): Raymond James reiterated an Outperform rating but bumped its target price to $23 from $21. The consensus target is $23.25. Friday’s close was at $19.33.
Lucid Group Inc. (NYSE: LCID): Exane BNP Paribas cut its Neutral rating to Underperform with a $5 target price. The $8.05 consensus target is also higher than Friday’s $6.64 closing share price.
Medical Properties Trust Inc. (NYSE: MPW): As BofA Securities downgraded the stock to Underperform from Neutral, the firm trimmed its target price to $8 from $9. The consensus target is $11.82, and shares were last seen on Friday trading at $8.08.
Palo Alto Networks Inc. (NASDAQ: PANW): Jefferies maintained a Buy rating on the bellwether cybersecurity leader. Its $285 target price is well above the consensus target of $251.57 and Friday’s close at $217.96.
Pinnacle West Capital Corp. (NYSE: PNW): Evercore ISI upgraded the shares to In Line from Underperform and has its price target set at $78. The consensus target is $79.90, and Friday’s close was at $77.40.
Rivian Automotive Inc. (NASDAQ: RIVN): The Exane BNP Paribas upgrade was from Neutral to Outperform with a $30 target price. The consensus target is $28.19, while Friday’s closing print was $21.57.
Sealed Air Corp. (NYSE: SEE) UBS downgraded the stock from Buy to Neutral with a $44 target price. The consensus target is $49.27. The stock ended Friday trading at $38.19.
Stanley Black & Decker Inc. (NYSE: SWK): The prior Peer Perform rating at Wolfe Research is now at Underperform. The firm’s $94 price target is less than the $100.84 consensus target and near Friday’s close at $94.28.
Twilio Inc. (NASDAQ: TWLO): Argus upgraded the shares to Buy from Hold. Its $72 target price is well above the consensus target of $67.40. The stock closed at $61.94 on Friday.
Ventas Inc. (NYSE: VTR): The BofA Securities downgrade to Underperform from Neutral included a target price reduction to $48 from $54. The consensus target is $52.71. The shares closed on Friday at $42.81.
Walmart Inc. (NYSE: WMT): Credit Suisse kept its Outperform rating and has a $180 target price. The consensus target is lower at $172.67, and the stock closed on Friday at $161.16.
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Wayfair Inc. (NYSE: W): Goldman Sachs reiterated a Neutral rating but raised its $62 target price to $75. The consensus target is up at $87.14. The stock ended Friday trading at $75.02, a gain of almost 3% for the day. The company posted outstanding results for the quarter last week.
Wolverine World Wide Inc. (NYSE: WWW): Exane BNP Paribas cut its Neutral rating to Underperform with a $9 target price. That compares with a $16.63 consensus target and Friday’s closing print of $8.80.
YETI Holdings Inc. (NYSE: YETI): Jefferies reiterated a Buy rating with a $60 target price. The consensus target is $48.47. The stock closed over 3% lower on Friday at $44.91.
Three top companies that are Wall Street favorites are expected to raise their dividends this week, showing that they are doing well and have the earnings and cash flow strength to increase their payouts.
Friday’s top analyst upgrades and downgrades included AppLovin, Crown Castle, GoodRx, Global Payments, Monster Beverage, Penn Entertainment, Plug Power, Roblox, Southern Company and Wynn Resorts.
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