Blue Chip Sell-Off Stocks Highlight Thursday's Top Wall Street Upgrades and Downgrades

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The futures traded up nicely, with time running short across Wall Street before the arrival of the Christmas holiday next Monday. The nine-day buying party across Wall Street ended Wednesday as all major indices finished the trading day lower. The Nasdaq was the big loser, falling 1.5% to 14,777.94.

Federal Reserve officials’ pushback on impending rate cuts as early as March remains the most significant headwind for stocks, especially after the massive 13%+ rally since late October. Profit taking on that rally was also cited for the sell-off.

Treasury yields were lower across the board, as buyers returned in a big way Wednesday. Analysts cited end-of-the-year buying, amid expectations for those hoping for rate cuts in 2024. While they likely do come about, it could be July before the Fed actually lowers the funds rate.

The 10-year note, printed at the 5% level on October 18, closed at 3.86%. The shorter two-year paper closed at 4.36%, after hitting 5.22% that same day.

Brent and West Texas Intermediate crude both closed modestly lower, after two solid days of gains after the Yemen Houthi militants attacked shipping transports in the Red Sea. With multiple countries stepping up to protect the region, that attack may die down some. Brent was last seen at $79.17, and WTI closed at $73.78. Natural gas finished down over 3% at $2.41.

Gold followed the selling trend as well, closing slightly lower on Wednesday. The February contract finished down just 0.27% at $2,046.50. Likely profit-taking was also cited for the slight loss on the day. Bitcoin was a big winner, closing up 3.27% at $43,468.10. Many analysts feel the crypto could return to the $50,000 level by early January.

Here are the top Wall Street upgrades and downgrades for Thursday, December 21, 2023.


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Good news for investors.

Amgen Inc. (NASDAQ: AMGN) from Neutral to Buy at Daiwa Securities; price target raised from $264 to $320.

Salesforce Inc. (NYSE: CRM) from Equal-Weight to Overweight at Morgan Stanley; price target raised from $290 to $350.

Spotify Technology S.A. (NYSE: SPOT) from Hold to Buy at Pivotal Research Group; price target raised from $170 to $265.


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Not-so-good news for investors.

Chipotle Mexican Grill Inc. (NYSE: CMG) from Outperform to Neutral at Wedbush with a price target of $2,400.

Eli Lilly and Co. (NYSE: LLY) from Buy to Outperform at Daiwa Securities; price target reduced from $660 to $610.

Zoom Video Communications Inc. (NASDAQ: ZM) from Equal Weight to Underweight at Wells Fargo with a price target of $70.


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Searching for investment winners.

J.Jill Inc. (NYSE: JILL) initiated with an Outperform rating at William Blair; no price target given.

Rollins Inc. (NYSE: ROL) initiated with an Equal-Weight rating and a price target of $42 at Morgan Stanley.

Snap Inc. (NYSE: SNAP) resumed at Raymond James with an Outperform rating and price target of $20.

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