Thursday's Top Analyst Upgrades and Downgrades: Best Buy, Carnival, Caterpillar, Foot Locker, Peloton, Texas Instruments and More

The futures were trading higher as we get set to close out August trading after a solid day across Wall Street Wednesday in which all the major indexes finished the day positive. The ADP employment report came in below expectations, and the second-quarter gross domestic product (GDP) was lowered to 2.1% from 2.4%, as inventory investment was revised down in a big way to show it declining at a $1.8 billion pace instead of increasing at the previously reported $9.3 billion rate. Inventories ended up being a small drag to GDP growth instead of adding 0.14% as was estimated last month.

Treasury yields were modestly lower after Tuesday’s huge rally in the government debt complex. The softer ADP report and the weaker GDP were cited by traders for the continued, albeit tepid, Wednesday buying. The PCE inflation reading was in line with estimates, and the ISM manufacturing data on Friday and the August nonfarm payrolls report both loom big for those trying to handicap the Federal Reserve’s next move.

Brent and West Texas Intermediate crude both closed higher on Wednesday after it was noted that more production than thought may have been shut in due to the hurricane in the Gulf of Mexico. Also, the U.S. Energy Information Administration confirmed a huge inventory draw of 10.6 million barrels for the week to August 25. That is versus a draw of 6.1 million barrels the prior week. Natural gas had a big day, up over 5% to close at $2.80.

Gold was higher on the weaker than expected economic data. The December contract closed the day at $1,971.40, up 0.5%. The potential for a big short squeeze in the bullion is keeping a solid bid under the precious metal after a very slow summer. Bitcoin, which exploded higher Tuesday on hopes for a Bitcoin ETF, gave back a big chunk Wednesday, closing the session at $27,278.30 down 1.58%.

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 Thursday, August 31, 2023.

Ambarella Inc. (NASDAQ: AMBA): TD Cowen downgraded the shares to Market Perform from Outperform and cut its $90 target price to $65. The consensus target is $91.25 for now. Wednesday’s $60.34 closing share price was down over 18% on the day after the company’s third-quarter revenue forecast fell well short of expectations.

AZZ Inc. (NYSE: AZZ): B. Riley Securities started coverage with a Buy rating and a $64 price target. The consensus target is $60, and the stock closed on Wednesday at $49.35.

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