Friday's Top Analyst Upgrades and Downgrades: Adobe, American Airlines, Freeport-McMoRan, Snowflake, Southwest Airlines, Wendy's, Wolfspeed and More

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The futures were trading lower, as we get ready to end a wild week on Wall Street that saw some big-time risk-off selling. Friday’s trading could bring some added fireworks as options expiration is expected to increase the volatility handily. All the major indexes closed lower on Thursday after a solid earnings report from Walmart continued to reinforce the idea of strong consumer support for the economy, which started a solid rally on the open that was over by the noon hour.

Legendary Big Short investor Dr. Michael Burry has once again unveiled his bearish side with a massive bet against the market via puts on the Nasdaq and S&P 500, while Warren Buffett sits with a $147 billion cash stash, just waiting and ready for a big market dip. After three straight down days, they may be onto something.

Treasury yields closed mixed across the curve, with buying in the shorter maturities and sellers targeting longer-dated notes and bonds. The 10-year closed at 4.28% and the 30-year long bond finished the day at 4.39%, both at their highest levels since October of last year. Should yields rise from current levels, they will be at their highest mark since 2011.

Brent and West Texas Intermediate crude also bounced back on Thursday, with both of the major oil benchmarks finishing the day higher on what is likely some short covering in front of Friday’s expirations. Brent closed Thursday at $83.80, while WTI was last seen at $80.06. The reality for investors is that if oil stays above the $80 a barrel level for the rest of the month, it is likely that the August consumer price index will come in hotter than expected. That could force the Federal Reserve into yet another rate hike at the end of September.

Gold finished Thursday lower and continues a rough stretch so far in August. The bullion closed the day with the December contract trading at $1,919, down 0.48%. The precious metal continues to trade near six-month lows. Analysts cited the structural downtrend in the U.S. dollar and tightening credit conditions as both positive for the sector. Bitcoin continued its summer downtrend, closing Thursday at $27.782, down a big 3.20%, the lowest close for the cryptocurrency giant since early June.

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, August 18, 2023.

Adobe Inc. (NASDAQ: ADBE): BofA Securities raised its Neutral rating to Buy and its $575 target price to $630. The consensus target is just $553.86, but Thursday’s closing share price was $511.67.

Alcon Inc. (NYSE: ALC): J.P. Morgan’s upgrade to Overweight from Neutral included a target price hike to $89.30 from $79.80. The consensus target is $94.09. Thursday’s close at $81.42 was almost 2% higher on the day after it posted stellar results.

America Movil SAB de C.V. (NYSE: AMX): Citigroup upgraded the stock to Buy from Neutral. Its $23.50 price target compares with a consensus target of $22.13. The shares closed almost 5% higher on Thursday at $19.48 after the upgrade.

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