Investing

Ride-Sharing Stocks Highlight Friday's Top Wall Street Upgrades and Downgrades

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This marks the final trading day for 2023. While the major indices barely closed mixed Thursday, with the Nasdaq closing just modestly lower, the Santa Claus rally has been strong this year. With the Dow Jones industrials and Nasdaq notching all-time highs, and the S&P 500 just below the January 2022 record, stock investors have lots to celebrate as we prepare to start 2024 trading next Tuesday.

Bonds

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Profit-taking sent bond prices lower on Thursday.

Sellers came in Thursday as yields across the Treasury bond curve ended the day higher as profit-taking and end-of-the-year portfolio shuffling appeared evident. With the 10-year note falling from a 5% yield in late October to Thursday’s 3.84 close, you can bet the fast money was saying goodbye. While pundits have laughed off the recession predictions, 2024 may be a different story, and the 2-10-year inversion suggests that it is still possible.

Commodities

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Crude prices reach a two-week low as calm returns to the Red Sea.

Brent and West Texas Intermediate crude both closed lower Thursday after the fears over Red Sea shipping lanes being closed continued to diminish after U.S. forces downed a stunning 17 Houthi drones in the region. The military pushback against attacks on shipping vessels was cited for the decline, along with end-of-the-year positioning for the sector. Natural gas was the sole big winner in the industry, closing up 4.2% at $2.54.

Gold finally took a break after a relentless move higher over the past few weeks. It finished the session with the February futures contract down 0.77% at $2,076.90. Analysts cited the rally in the bullion and end of the year profit taking as the biggest reason for the Thursday slump. Bitcoin continued its roller-coaster run, closing down 2.2% at $42,507.30. (These are the biggest celebrity cryptocurrency losers.)

Here are the top Wall Street ratings and price target moves for December 29, 2023. There were no upgrades reported Friday morning.

Downgrades

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Ride-sharing stocks take a hit.

Lyft Inc. (NASDAQ: LYFT) from Neutral to Reduce at Nomura, though the price target increased from $11.70 to $13.

Uber Technologies Inc. (NYSE: UBER) from Buy to Neutral with a price target increase from $59 to $62 at Nomura.

Other Analyst Calls

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ConocoPhillips price target cut but remains a Strong Buy.

ConocoPhillips (NYSE: COP) maintained with a Strong Buy rating but its price target cut from $146 to $140 at Raymond James.

Equifax Inc. (NYSE: EFX) maintained with a Neutral rating and price target of $122 at Goldman Sachs.

Expedia Group Inc. (NASDAQ: EXPE) reiterated as a Buy, with a price target increase from $133 to $168, at Ascendiant Capital.

Natera Inc. (NASDAQ: NTRA) reiterated as a Buy with a price target increase from $75 to $85 at BTIG.

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