The futures traded higher to start off the week, after a big bounce back on Friday that saw all the major indexes finish the day higher and snap a three-week losing streak. This was after the big sell-off on Thursday that came on the heels of huge numbers from AI chip giant Nvidia. All eyes on Friday were once again on Federal Reserve Chair Powell, who delivered his annual address at the Jackson Hole Symposium. The song remained the same, as he hammered some of the same themes as last year.
While noting that progress is being made in the inflation fight, Powell warned once again that “some pain” may still need to be endured to bring inflation down to the 2% target. He also noted that inflation remains “too high” and that the Fed is prepared to raise rates further to achieve its goal. The consumer price index data for August, which will be released on September 13, could prove to be a deciding factor for a rate hike at the end of the month.
Treasury yields were mostly higher across the curve on Friday, with the one- to seven-year maturities seeing the biggest selling. Needless to say, the bond market will keep a close eye on the data as we head into the fall. The 10-year note closed the day at 4.24%, while the two-year short paper was last seen at 5.08%. The inversion has been in place for almost a year and tends to precede recession.
Brent and West Texas Intermediate crude both roared back to life Friday after a rough stretch for the oil markets. Both of the major benchmarks finished the day up over 1%, at $84.61 and $79.96, respectively. The gains were not enough to prevent a second consecutive weekly drop after a strong summer rally. In addition, natural gas closed the week up 1.2% at $2.55.
Gold finished the week modestly lower, as the December contract closed at $1,940.90. Traders noted the expected hawkish stance from the Fed Chair with little surprise, as he reiterated much of what was said at the last FOMC meeting in July. Bitcoin had another grim day, closing down 0.62% at $26,001.90.
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 28, 2023.
Abercrombie & Fitch Co. (NYSE: ANF): Morgan Stanley upgraded the stock to Equal Weight from Underweight. The analyst also lifted its $18 target price all the way to $51, shy of the $52 consensus target. The stock closed on Friday at $50.16 a share.
Affirm Holdings Inc. (NASDAQ: AFRM): Goldman Sachs lifted its $14.50 target price on the stock, which it has rated at Neutral, to $16.50. The consensus target is $14.71 for now. Friday’s $17.79 close was up 29% on the day after it posted earnings that soared for the quarter.
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