The futures were trading higher across the board Monday after a wild week on Wall Street that saw some big-time risk-off selling. The major indexes closed mixed on Friday, with the Dow Jones industrials and the Russell 2000 scratching out meager gains while the S&P 500 and the Nasdaq closed lower. The Nasdaq loss resulted in the third consecutive losing week for the index for the first time since December of 2022. One of the biggest reasons is continued weakness in China, as the country’s largest real estate developer filed for Chapter 15 bankruptcy in the United States. Many feel a systemic shock from China could spread across other markets as the economy continues to struggle despite years of government backing.
Treasury yields were lower across the board on Friday, as nervous investors took advantage of a week of selling to buy the safe-haven government debt at the highest yields in almost a year. The 10-year note closed the day at 4.25%, while the two-year paper was last seen at 4.94%. The ongoing inversion still suggests that recession is headed our way, though at this point most believe that it will be a 2024 event.
Brent and West Texas Intermediate crude closed higher on Friday. Economic concerns from China and slowing growth across much of the rest of the world threaten demand, while massive inventory draws and production cuts help to backstop the black gold. Brent finished the day up 0.76% at $84.76, while WTI was up 0.92% to close at $81.31. Natural gas finished the week lower at $2.57, down almost 3%.
Gold caught a small bid on Friday, as the December contract closed the day at $1,918.50. Traders cited short covering and bargain hunting in the bullion for the tepid strength to end the week. The biggest loser was cryptocurrency giant Bitcoin, which was hammered last week and closed down an additional 1.91% at $26,117.80 on Friday to finish off a dreadful week.
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 21, 2023.
Aflac Inc. (NYSE: AFL): Morgan Stanley downgraded the shares to Equal Weight from Overweight but bumped its target price up to $75 from $74. That is more or less in line with the consensus target of $75.45 and Friday’s closing print of $75.16.
Beazer Homes USA Inc. (NYSE: BZH): Wedbush downgraded the stock to Neutral from Outperform and has a $32 target price. That compares with a $35.33 consensus target and Friday’s closing print of $28.06, which was up almost 8% for the day on the downgrade.
Crestwood Equity Partners L.P. (NYSE: CEQP): Truist Financial’s downgrade to Hold from Buy came with a target price trim to $28 from $31. The consensus target is $28.33. The final trade Friday was reported at $27.06.
Datadog Inc. (NASDAQ: DDOG): TD Cowen started coverage with an Outperform rating and a $120 target price. The consensus target is $106.32. The shares closed 3% higher on Friday at $92.22.
DoubleVerify Holdings Inc. (NYSE: DV): Baird started coverage with an Outperform rating and has a $38 target price. The consensus target is higher at $45.40. Friday’s close was at $32.18.
Dynatrace Inc. (NYSE: DT): TD Cowen initiated coverage with an Outperform rating and a $57 target price. The consensus target is $55.12. The shares ended Friday’s session 2% higher at $46.33.
Farfetch Ltd. (NYSE: FTCH): When J.P. Morgan downgraded the stock to Neutral from Overweight, its $15 target price tumbled to $6. The consensus target is $9.07 for now. The stock was destroyed on Friday, with its $2.91 close down an incredible 38% after it posted dreadful numbers for the quarter.
Globe Life Inc. (NYSE: GL): Morgan Stanley upgraded the stock to Equal Weight from Underweight. Its $131 target price compares with a consensus target of $126.11 and Friday’s close at $111.38.
Hannon Armstrong Sustainable Infrastructure Capital Inc. (NYSE: HASI): Citigroup started coverage with a Neutral rating and a $27 target price. The consensus target is up at $40.25. The shares closed at $20.28 on Friday.
Holley Inc. (NYSE: HLLY): William Blair started covering the stock with an Outperform rating and a $10 target price. The consensus target is $8.97. The stock closed on Friday at $6.04.
IPG Photonics Corp. (NASDAQ: IPGP): As Citigroup downgraded the stock to Neutral from Buy, the analyst reduced the $152 target price to $111. That compares with a $132.71 consensus target and Friday’s close at $98.71.
Itron Inc. (NASDAQ: ITRI): Argus upgraded the stock to Buy from Hold. Its $82 target price is higher than the $79.29 consensus target and Friday’s $66.96 closing share price.
Keysight Technologies Inc. (NYSE: KEYS): The Barclays downgrade to Equal Weight from Overweight included a target price slash to $144 from $204. The consensus target is $188.14. The shares ended Friday’s session at $135.10, down 10% for the day despite solid quarter results being posted.
Lumentum Holdings Inc. (NASDAQ: LITE): Rosenblatt upgraded the shares to Buy from Neutral but trimmed its target price to $62 from $67. The consensus target is $54.15. The stock closed on Friday at $46.20
Marvell Technology Inc. (NASDAQ: MRVL): As B. Riley Securities upgraded the chip giant to Buy from Neutral, its target price increased to $75 from $60. The consensus target is $69.80. The shares closed on Friday at $57.69.
MercadoLibre Inc. (NASDAQ: MELI): Citing its rapidly expanding top and bottom lines, Zacks selected this e-commerce firm as its Bull of the Day stock. Shares last closed at $1,199.59, and the $1,632.21 consensus price target would be a 52-week high.
Sea Ltd. (NYSE: SE): J.P. Morgan downgraded the shares to Neutral from Overweight with a $45 target price. The consensus target is $79.08 for now. Friday’s final trade was for $37.87 a share.
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Trade Desk Inc. (NASDAQ: TTD): Baird started coverage with an Outperform rating and has a $88 target price. The consensus target is lower at $85.69. The last trade on Friday was for $71.74 a share.
Wayfair Inc. (NYSE: W): Oppenheimer reiterated an Outperform rating and lifted its $70 price target to $100. The consensus target is just $90.11. The stock ended Friday trading at $69.24.
XPO Inc. (NYSE: XPO): Although Loop Capital downgraded the stock to Hold from Buy, it also boosted its $55 target price to $74. The consensus target is $76.30. The stock closed on Friday at $68.64.
Six top dividend-paying blue chip stock picks from the Goldman Sachs Conviction List are ideal for worried investors now. They should be able to hold their own if there is a sizable market correction as these companies can continue to thrive and pay their dependable dividends even in a recession.
Friday’s top analyst upgrades and downgrades included Adobe, American Airlines, BorgWarner, Coherent, Freeport-McMoRan, SL Green Realty, Snowflake, Southwest Airlines, Wendy’s and Wolfspeed.
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