The futures were trading higher after a wild day across Wall Street on Thursday that saw the Nasdaq and the S&P 500 explode higher early on the strength of blowout results from AI chip giant Nvidia, and then all the major indexes reversed and ended the day lower in a big way. The Nasdaq was down almost 2%.
All eyes are now focused on Federal Reserve Chair Powell who will deliver his annual Jackson Hole Symposium speech Friday, and all indications are that he will continue to lean very hawkish and interest rate decisions will continue on a “data dependent” basis.
Investors will have to wait until September 13 for the August consumer price index data, and if it trends higher, there may be another interest rate increase at the end of September. Another 25-basis-point increase in the federal funds rate would lift the benchmark lending rate to 5.50% to 5.75%, the highest level since 2001.
Treasury yields closed Thursday higher across the curve, after massive buying Wednesday as investors took advantage of the highest yields for some maturities in over a decade. The 10-year note closed the day at 4.24%, while the shorter two-year paper was last seen at 5.02%, a level that often attracts buyers. The 78-basis-point inversion is still cause for concern, as it indicates the potential for recession down the road.
Brent and West Texas Intermediate crude both closed flat Thursday, as growing concerns over the U.S. and China economies are threatening what has been a strong summer rally for the black gold. While a slight down tick for the benchmarks, traders jumped on the early weakness and almost pushed both benchmarks positive by the close. Brent closed at $83.20, while WTI finished the session at $78.88. Natural gas closed Thursday up modestly at $2.51.
Gold was also flat Thursday, after the bullion showed some signs of life earlier in the week Analysts cited the drop in U.S. durable goods in July and the decline in the weekly jobless claims as a slight headwind. The December contract for the precious metal closed at $1,944.40. Bitcoin was hammered again, closing the day down 1.4% at $26,058.90, a stunning 16% decline since early July.
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 25, 2023.
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