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Friday's Top Analyst Upgrades and Downgrades: Carvana, Exxon Mobil, First Solar, Mastercard, MGM Resorts, Shopify, Target and More

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The futures traded higher, as we prepare to close out another rollercoaster trading week. The major indexes finished Thursday solidly lower, despite some worrisome inflation news following the higher producer price index results Wednesday. Like the PPI, the consumer price index print for September came in hotter than expected. With the inflation data out of the way for now, Wall Street will focus on third-quarter earnings. Reports have started to roll in but will flood the news cycle next week.

Treasury yields, which had been dropping, traded higher on Thursday as the sellers returned after two big days of buying. Yields plunged with the beginning of the Hamas-Israel war as investors ran to the safe haven of government debt. The 10-year note ended the day at 4.70%, up 11 basis points. Meanwhile, the two-year paper closed at 5.07%, up six basis points. The ongoing inversion suggests recession could be a reality next year.

Brent and West Texas Intermediate crude both closed modestly higher after some recent weakness. Clearly, the escalation of the fighting between Hamas and Israel is starting to be a big issue for the energy complex. Many fear the war will spread around the oil-producing region. Brent closed Thursday at $86.37, while WTI was last seen at $83.51. Moreover, after a big run recently, natural gas closed lower at $3.35.

Gold took a breather Thursday. It closed slightly lower after a big run this week as the hostilities in the Middle East created demand for the safe-haven bullion. The December contract ended trading at $1,881.60. Furthermore, Bitcoin closed lower once again, down 0.75% at $26,720.30.

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. And 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, October 13, 2023.

Upgrades

Chevron Corp. (NYSE: CVX): Exane BNP Paribas upgraded the shares to Outperform from Neutral and has a $190 target price. The consensus target is $188.32. The last trade on Thursday was for $161.23 a share.

Clorox Co. (NYSE: CLX): Bernstein’s upgrade was from Underperform to Market Perform with a $120 target price. The consensus target is up at $135.18. The shares closed on Thursday at $120.09.

Dynatrace Inc. (NYSE: DT): D.A. Davidson raised its Neutral rating to Buy and its $50 target price to $65. The consensus target is just $56.39 though. And the shares closed on Thursday at $47.75.

Exxon Mobil Corp. (NYSE: XOM): Truist Financial’s upgrade to Buy from Hold included a target price hike to $131 from $110. The consensus target is $125.81. Thursday’s closing share price was $106.47.

First Solar Inc. (NASDAQ: FSLR): Barclays upgraded the stock to Overweight from Equal Weight. Yet, it trimmed its $235 target price to $224. The consensus target is $243.01 for now. The shares closed on Thursday at $149.39.

Lear Corp. (NYSE: LEA): Barclays upgraded the shares to Overweight from Equal Weight, and its target price is set at $177. The consensus target is $168.00. The stock closed at $136.59 on Thursday.

MasTec Inc. (NYSE: MTZ): Craig Hallum upgraded the stock to Buy from Hold. Its $98 target price is less than the consensus target of $118.20. Thursday’s close was at $66.50.

Target Corp. (NYSE: TGT): As BofA Securities upgraded the stock to Buy from Neutral, its target price increased to $135 from $120. That compares with a $149.38 consensus target and Thursday’s close at $110.80.

Visteon Corp. (NASDAQ: VC): Barclays upgraded the stock to Equal Weight from Underweight and has a $158 target price. The consensus target is $168.20, and Thursday’s close was at $134.86.

Warby Parker Inc. (NYSE: WRBY): BTIG Research upgraded the shares from Neutral to Buy with a $17 target price. The consensus target is $15.75. The stock closed over 1% higher on Thursday at $14.14 after the upgrade.

Downgrades

Carvana Co. (NASDAQ: CVNA): Exane BNP Paribas downgraded the stock to Neutral from Outperform and has a $37 target price. The consensus target is $41.72. The stock closed over 10% lower on Thursday at $33.87 due to the downgrade.

Carrier Global Corp. (NYSE: CARR): Wolfe Research downgraded the stock to Underperform from Peer Perform and has a $56 target price. The consensus target is $59.78. Thursday’s close was at $54.48.

Jack Henry & Associates Inc. (NASDAQ: JKHY): Goldman Sachs cut its Neutral rating to Sell and its $165 price target to $145. The consensus target is $171.15. The closing share price on Thursday was $144.46.

ResMed Inc. (NYSE: RMD): When RBC Capital Markets downgraded the shares to Sector Perform from Outperform, it slashed its $273 target price to $202. That compares with a $206.63 consensus target and Thursday’s closing print of $136.30, which was almost 6% lower for the day in the wake of the downgrade.

Welltower Inc. (NYSE: WELL): J.P. Morgan downgraded the stock to Neutral from Overweight. Its $90 target price compares with a consensus target of $89.33 and Thursday’s close at $85.00.

Initiations

Churchill Downs Inc. (NASDAQ: CHDN): Capital One initiated coverage with an Overweight rating and a $144 target price. The consensus target is $148.29, but shares closed at $109.84 Thursday.

Mastercard Inc. (NYSE: MA): Seaport Research Partners started coverage with a Buy rating and a $465 target price. The consensus target is $456.27. Thursday’s was close was at $399.90.

MGM Resorts International (NYSE: MGM): Capital One initiated coverage with an Overweight rating. Its $50 target price is less than the consensus target of $57.75. The shares closed at $37.16 on Thursday.

Shopify Inc (NYSE: SHOP): Seaport Research Partners started coverage with a Buy rating and a $64 target price. The $66.58 consensus target is also well above Thursday’s close at $53.33.

Snowflake Inc. (NYSE: SNOW): BofA Securities initiated coverage with a Neutral rating and has set a $195 target. The consensus target is $198.35. The last trade on Thursday was for $159.96 a share.

And More

Is Altria stock the best for cautious investors? Also, is the popularity of weight-loss drugs having unexpected effects on corporate earnings?

The big integrated oil companies in the United States and Europe are likely to benefit if the Hamas-Israel war escalates. So, six dividend-paying legacy blue chips remain solid investments for growth and income investors.

Thursday’s top analyst upgrades and downgrades included Amgen, Arista Networks, Boeing, Coherent, CSX, Netflix, Northrop Grumman, Shoals Technologies, Take-Two Interactive Software, Unilever and Ventas.

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