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Tuesday's Top Wall Street Upgrades and Downgrades: Applied Materials, CVS Health, Hawaiian Electric Industries, Walmart and More

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The futures were higher, after a solid start to the new trading week that saw the Nasdaq and the S&P 500 close higher, while the Dow Jones industrials closed lower. As is customary, the Kansas City Federal Reserve will host the Jackson Hole Wyoming Symposium for its annual summer boondoggle this week with assorted Wall Street and Washington big shots. It is a pretty solid bet across Wall Street that in his speech on Friday at the event, Fed Chair Jay Powell will be stressing the “higher for longer” mantra for interest rates. With energy prices rising there is an excellent possibility at this point that the consumer price index inflation numbers for August come in higher than expected when they are released next month. If that is indeed the case, it is likely that rates go higher by 25 basis points at the next Fed meeting in late September.

Treasury yields were higher across the curve on Monday, as traders also will be closely monitoring Powell’s speech this week. One thing is for sure: with interest rates trending higher, and mortgage rates at their highest level since 2002 (the 30-year mortgage rate closed on Friday at 7.06%), the economy is close to hitting the wall. The 10-year note ended Monday at 4.34%, while the two-year paper was last seen at 4.97%. The almost year-long inversion suggests recession in 2024 to many.

Brent and West Texas Intermediate crude both finished the day modestly higher. Once again, the oil rig count reportedly dropped last week, as 12 fewer rigs were operating. Baker Hughes estimates that a stunning 135 rigs are out of commission over the past year. The recent rig count is 54 less than in 2019, before the pandemic started. Brent finished Monday’s session at $84.55, while WTI was last seen at $80.81. Natural gas closed at $2.60.

Gold was barely higher Monday, as a slow summer for the bullion continues. Friday’s positive day ended nine consecutive losing sessions. The closing price for the December contract on Monday was reported at $1,923.80. Bitcoin, which has been pounded this summer, closed Monday flat at $26,096.10.

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 Tuesday, August 22, 2023.

AlloVir Inc. (NASDAQ: ALVR): BofA Securities started coverage with a Buy rating and a $17 target price. The consensus target is higher at $20.67. The stock closed 28% higher on Monday at $3.64. Some cited short covering as one reason for the gain.

Applied Materials Inc. (NASDAQ: AMAT): TD Cowen reiterated an Outperform rating and lifted its $150 target price to $160. The consensus target is just $143.44. Monday’s $148.77 close was up over 4% for the day. Strong earnings last week and a solid tailwind for the sector were a catalyst.

Bill Holdings Inc. (NYSE: BILL): BMO Capital Markets reiterated a Market Perform rating but trimmed its $120 target price to $116. The consensus target is $130.43. The shares closed on Monday at $107.53, which was down 3% on the day.


Blue Bird Corp. (NASDAQ: BLBD): BofA Securities initiated coverage with a Buy rating and a $26.50 target price. The consensus target is $29.67. Monday’s final trade was for $21.77 a share.

Catalyst Pharmaceuticals Inc. (NASDAQ: CPRX): Truist Financial reiterated a Buy rating. The firm’s $24 target price compares with a consensus of $23 and Monday’s close at $14.60.

Children’s Place Inc. (NASDAQ: PLCE): When Monness Crespi & Hardt reiterated a Buy rating on the shares, its $30 target price rose to $36. The consensus target is $28.75. The stock closed on Monday at $27.86.

Corvus Pharmaceuticals Inc. (NASDAQ: CRVS): Oppenheimer started coverage with an Outperform rating and a $7 target price. The $6.90 consensus target is also well above Monday’s $2.20 close.
CVS Health Corp. (NYSE: CVS): Truist Financial reiterated a Buy rating with a $98 target price. The consensus target is $93.09, and shares closed at $67.08 on Monday.

DocGo Inc. (NASDAQ: DCGO): BTIG Research started coverage with a Buy rating and a $15 target price. The consensus target is $13.33. The stock closed on Monday at $8.89.

Elastic N.V. (NYSE: ESTC): TD Cowen started coverage with an Equal Weight rating and a $65 target. The $53.06 consensus target is less than Monday’s close at $60.52.

Hawaiian Electric Industries Inc. (NYSE: HE): Although Wells Fargo upgraded the stock to Equal Weight from Underweight, the analyst slashed the $25 target price to $8. The consensus target is $17.50. Monday’s $13.04 close was down over 5% on the day.

Heico Corp. (NYSE: HEI): Morgan Stanley resumed coverage with an Equal Weight rating and a $184 target price. The consensus target is just higher at $185.54, but shares closed on Monday at $164.97.

Integral Ad Science Holding Corp. (NASDAQ: IAS): Baird started coverage with an Outperform rating, but its $19 target price is less than the consensus target of $23.23. Monday’s final print was $14.10.

IPG Photonics Corp. (NASDAQ: IPGP): As Citigroup downgraded the stock to Neutral from Buy, the firm’s target price fell to $111 from $152. The consensus target is $136.71. Monday’s close was at $99.11.

Maximus Inc. (NYSE: MMS): Stifel started coverage with a Buy rating and a $102 target price. The consensus target is $100.67. Monday’s closing share price was $80.17.

Portland General Electric Co. (NYSE: POR): Guggenheim upgraded the stock to Buy from Neutral. Its $48 target price is less than the $52.80 consensus figure. Monday’s close was at $43.87.

Qualys Inc. (NASDAQ: QLYS): Stephens started coverage with an Equal Weight rating and a $145 target price. The consensus target is $137.06, well less than Monday’s close at $144.72.


Strategic Education Inc. (NASDAQ: STRA): The BofA Securities upgrade to Buy from Neutral included a target price hike to $99 from $90. The consensus target is $91.00. Monday’s close was at $78.06.

Tenable Holdings Inc. (NASDAQ: TENB): Stephens started coverage with an Overweight rating. Its $60 target price is higher than the consensus target of $53.06 and Monday’s closing share price of $45.08.

Walmart Inc. (NYSE: WMT): RBC Capital Markets reiterated an Outperform rating and bumped its $165 target price up to $168. The consensus target is $175.39. On Monday, shares closed at $157.51.


Seven outstanding stocks make sense for growth and income investors looking to add energy, as they are rated Buy, pay large and dependable dividends, and have solid upside to the posted price targets.

Also check out a huge IPO in the works and how much clout Elon Musk really has.

Monday’s top analyst upgrades and downgrades included Aflac, Datadog, DoubleVerify, Dynatrace, Farfetch, Lumentum, Marvell Technology, Sea, Trade Desk, Wayfair and XPO.

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