The futures were higher, after another brutal day across Wall Street that saw all the major indexes finish the day lower. The combination of skyrocketing oil prices, the possibility of another rate hike before the year is out and general investor malaise, as the final 10 days of September are typically the worst days in the entire trading year, all were tailwinds for the risk-off crowd. The weakness comes despite one of the biggest technology deals in years, as legacy technology giant Cisco Systems was reported to be acquiring Splunk in an all-cash $28 billion deal. The deal is the largest ever for Cisco, as the company expands its cybersecurity profile.
Treasury yields soared Thursday as investors sifted through Federal Reserve Chair Powell’s prepared remarks and noted the dot-plot shifts, which now predict a November increase and just two quarter-point rate cuts in 2024. The central bank’s latest Summary of Economic Projections indicates that the median projection for the federal funds rate at the end of this year will be 5.6%, matching projections made back in June. The 10-year note closed at 4.49%, while the two-year paper finished the day at 5.14%, the highest since 2006.
Brent and West Texas Intermediate crude both closed with very modest losses on Thursday, as concerns over supply, the ongoing production cuts and some massive inventory draws over the past month continue to keep momentum behind the black gold. Brent closed trading at $93.26, while WTI finished the session at $89.61. Natural gas also finished the day lower, down over 4% at $2.62.
Gold was also a big loser Thursday, as the bullion traded down 1.4% as the December contract closed the day at $1,939.80, down $27.30. Traders cited the drop in weekly jobless claims as a negative while the existing home sales were somewhat positive as the housing sector continues to weaken under pressure from the highest mortgage rates in over 20 years. Bitcoin was hammered again. Closing down over 2% at $26,572.20.
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 analyst upgrades, downgrades and initiations seen on Friday, September 22, 2023.
Analog Devices Inc. (NASDAQ: ADI): Stifel reiterated a Buy rating with a $220 target price. The consensus target is $200.29. The shares closed on Thursday at $173.84.
Boston Scientific Corp. (NYSE: BSX): Stifel raised its $58 target price on the Buy-rated shares to $60. The consensus target is $60.39. The closing share price on Thursday was $53.97.
Brighthouse Financial Inc. (NASDAQ: BHF): As Goldman Sachs downgraded the shares to Sell from Neutral, its $47 price target slipped to $43. The consensus target is $52.89 for now. Thursday’s $47.42 close was down almost 7% for the day on the downgrade.
CrowdStrike Holdings Inc. (NASDAQ: CRWD): Oppenheimer reiterated an Outperform rating with a $175 target price. The consensus target is up at $186.45. The final trade on Thursday was reported at $162.53.
Dutch Bros Inc. (NYSE: BROS): UBS started coverage with a Neutral rating and a $28 price target. The consensus target is $35.20. Thursday’s close was at $24.01.
Enphase Energy Inc. (NASDAQ: ENPH): Seaport Research Partners raised its Neutral rating to Buy and has a $185 target price. The higher consensus target is $200.91, and Thursday’s close was at $124.85.
EPR Properties (NYSE: EPR): Wells Fargo initiated coverage with an Underweight rating. Its $40 target price compares with a consensus target of $48.15. The shares closed on Thursday at $41.76.
European Wax Center Inc. (NASDAQ: EWCZ): When Piper Sandler upgraded the shares to Overweight from Neutral, it bumped its $19 target price to $22. The consensus target is $22.13. The stock closed on Thursday at $17.15.
Five9 Inc. (NASDAQ: FIVN): Deutsche Bank lifted its Hold rating to Buy and its $75 price target to $80. The consensus target is up at $90.60. The shares closed on Thursday at $64.69.
Frontier Group Holdings Inc. (NASDAQ: ULCC): Citigroup’s downgrade to Neutral from Buy included a target price slash to $5 from $16. That compares with the $11.56 consensus target and Thursday’s $4.84 close.
HealthEquity Inc. (NASDAQ: HQY): Baird upgraded the stock to Outperform from Neutral. The firm also raised its $79 price target to $87, above the consensus target of $82.36. Thursday’s close was at $72.19.
International Paper Co. (NYSE: IP): Truist Financial’s upgrade to Buy from Hold came with a target price hike to $43 from $30. The consensus target is $32,67. The stock closed on Thursday at $34.12.
Nike Inc. (NYSE: NKE): Stifel reiterated a Buy rating with a $135 target price. The consensus target is $123.66. The stock closed on Thursday at $91.59.
Nutanix Inc. (NASDAQ: NTNX): BofA Securities upgraded the shares to Buy from Neutral, and its $39 target price jumped to $50. The consensus target is $39.69. The shares closed on Thursday at $33.85.
Penumbra Inc. (NYSE: PEN): The Zacks Bull of the Day is a buying opportunity due to its massive earnings growth, says the analyst. Shares closed at $250.36 on Thursday, and the $337.75 consensus target signals about 35% upside.
Petrobras Brasileiro S.A. (NYSE: PBR): Jefferies initiated coverage with a Buy rating and a target price of $21.20. The consensus target is $16.05. The shares ended Thursday trading at $14.98.
ServiceNow Inc. (NYSE: NOW): Stifel reiterated a Buy rating on the tech giant, which is on the firm’s Select List of top ideas. Its $640 target price is shy of the consensus target of $642.79. Thursday’s close was at $549.50.
Truist Financial Corp. (NYSE: TFC): Although Keefe Bruyette upgraded the stock to Outperform from Market Perform, its target price slipped to $36 from $37. The consensus target is $36.08. On Thursday, shares closed at $28.17.
VICI Properties Inc. (NYSE: VICI): Wells Fargo started coverage with an Overweight rating and a $36 target price. The consensus target is $37.33, and the shares ended Thursday at $30.09.
The 5 Highest Yielding S&P 500 Stocks Pay 7% and Higher Dividends and May Be the Best Buys for Q4
Vista Energy SAB de C.V. (NASDAQ: VIST): Jefferies started coverage with a Buy rating and a $40 target price. That compares with a $32.67 consensus target and Thursday’s closing share price of $27.54.
W.P. Carey Inc. (NYSE: WPC): Wells Fargo initiated coverage with an Equal Weight rating and has a $66 target price. The consensus target is higher at $78.60. The stock was last seen on Thursday at $58.86.
Yeti Holdings Inc. (NYSE: YETI): B. Riley Securities initiated coverage with a Neutral rating and set a $50 target price. The consensus target is $50.50. The stock closed almost 4% lower on Thursday at $47.80.
It makes sense now for investors to book profits, especially on mega-cap tech stocks, and shift capital to safer ideas. Seven top Berkshire Hathaway portfolio stocks in the beaten-down financial sector should benefit from a likely November interest rate hike.
Thursday’s top analyst upgrades and downgrades included Bausch Health, CoStar, Domino’s Pizza, IBM, Kimco Realty, Lululemon Athletica, Pinterest, Skyworks Solutions, Ventas, Walt Disney and Western Digital.
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