The futures traded lower as we get ready to wrap up a week most investors will be glad to put in the rearview mirror. After a promising start, all the major indexes rolled over after the first-time claims for unemployment dropped to 198,000. Forecasts had called for 211,000. All the major indexes finished Thursday lower, as higher interest rates and conflict in the Middle East continue to dominate the news cycle.
With third-quarter earnings coming in so-so, the market continues to grapple to find a bottom, which many across Wall Street feel could be decidedly lower than current levels. With September existing home sales dropping to the lowest level since October of 2010, signs of an economic slowdown are starting to appear.
Treasury yields paused their relentless climb higher Thursday, as buyers showed up to grab some of the highest-yielding Treasury paper in years. The benchmark 10-year note closed trading at 4.97%. The two-year was last seen at 5.16%, as the inversion between the two continues to narrow. The 30-year bond closed at 5.09%, the highest level since June of 2007.
Brent and West Texas Intermediate crude closed 1% higher on Thursday. This followed a 2% gain on Wednesday. Top experts in the sector noted that many feel that the oil markets may be underestimating the risk of escalation of the current Middle East conflict. This is especially so after Hezbollah warned it is ready to join Hamas in the fight against Israel. Brent was last seen at $90.98, down 0.57% for the day. WTI closed at $88.02, down 0.34%. Also, natural gas closed the day 2.06% lower at $2.99.
Gold also closed the day higher after a solid move to the upside over the past week. The drop in first-time claims was cited for some of the weakness initially. The Philadelphia Federal Reserve noted that its manufacturing sector survey remained in negative territory this month. It came in at −9.0, versus expectation of a −6.4 print. The bullion then stabilized. The last trade for the December contract was posted at $1,987.30, up 0.34%. Moreover, Bitcoin closed down 0.33% at $28,679.90.
Friday’s Top Analyst Calls
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, October 20, 2023.
Best Buy Co. Inc. (NYSE: BBY): Goldman Sachs upgraded the retailer to Buy from Neutral. The analyst also lifted the $79 target price to $85. The consensus target is $81.52. Thursday’s closing share price was $69.50.
CrowdStrike Holdings Inc. (NASDAQ: CRWD): As Jefferies boosted its Hold rating to Buy, its $170 target price jumped to $225. The consensus target is just $196.29. The shares closed on Thursday at $184.52.
First Solar Inc. (NASDAQ: FSLR): J.P. Morgan’s upgrade was to Overweight from Neutral. Yet, its $239 target price to $220. The consensus target is $239.39. Thursday’s close was $151.97.
Netflix Inc. (NASDAQ: NFLX): Morgan Stanley raised its Equal Weight rating to Overweight and its $400 price target to $475. The consensus target is $455.20. The shares closed 16% higher on Thursday at $401.77. Profits and subscribers numbers grew.
PepsiCo Inc. (NASDAQ: PEP): DZ Bank upgraded the stock to Buy from Hold. Its $187 target price is less than the consensus target of $189.45. The last trade on Thursday was spotted at $160.56.
SoFi Technologies Inc. (NASDAQ: SOFI): Keefe Bruyette’s upgrade was from Underperform to Market Perform with a $7.50 target price. The consensus target is $9.97. Thursday’s close was at $7.63.
Unity Software Inc. (NYSE: U): The Underperform rating at Jefferies is now at Hold. Yet, the analyst trimmed the $29 target price to $27. The consensus target is $43.16. The stock closed on Thursday at $27.49.
Zscaler Inc. (NASDAQ: ZS): When Jefferies upgraded the stock to Buy from Hold, it also boosted its target price to $225 from $170. The consensus target is $187.53. The shares closed on Thursday at $169.07.
Canada Goose Holdings Inc. (NYSE: GOOS): Asl TD Cowen downgraded the shares to Market Perform from Outperform, its $22 target price dropped to $15. The consensus target is $16.91 for now. The final trade on Thursday was filled at $12.16.
Enphase Energy Inc. (NASDAQ: ENPH): Scotiabank downgraded the shares to Sector Perform from Sector Outperform and has a $140 target price. The consensus target is $178.19. Thursday’s $115.90 close was down over 6% for the day due to the downgrade.
Foot Locker Inc. (NYSE: FL): Goldman Sachs downgraded the shares from Neutral to Sell with an $18 target. The consensus target is $19.89. Thursday’s close was at $21.84.
Fortinet Inc. (NASDAQ: FTNT): Jefferies cut its Buy rating to Hold and its $85 target price to $65. The $73.65 consensus target is also well above Thursday’s closing print of $57.77.
Peloton Interactive Inc. (NASDAQ: PTON): BofA Securities downgraded the shares to Underperform from Neutral. Its $6.50 target price dropped to $4.15, well below the consensus target of $7.78. The stock closed at $4.79 on Thursday.
Werner Enterprises Inc. (NASDAQ: WERN): The BofA Securities downgrade to Underperform from Buy included a target price to $37 from $47. The consensus target is $46.75. The final trade on Thursday was reported at $36.51.
Arm Holdings PLC (NASDAQ: ARM): Societe Generale started coverage with a Hold rating and a $58 target price. A consensus target is not yet available. Thursday’s close at $49.74 was down over 4%.
Bumble Inc. (NASDAQ: BMBL): BofA Securities resumed coverage with a Neutral rating and a $17 target price. The consensus target is $22.91. On Thursday, shares closed at $13.54.
Chewy Inc. (NYSE: CHWY): BofA Securities resumed coverage with an Underperform rating and a $16 target. The consensus target is $36.14 for now. The stock closed on Thursday at $16.86.
Chipotle Mexican Grill Inc. (NYSE: CMG): Deutsche Bank initiated coverage with a Buy rating and a $2,375 target price. The consensus target is $2,163.53, and shares closed on Thursday at $94.42.
Ellington Financial Inc. (NYSE: EFC): B. Riley Securities initiated coverage with a Buy rating and a $15 price target. The consensus target is $14.50. The last trade on Thursday was for $12.35 a share.
Match Group Inc. (NASDAQ: MTCH): BofA Securities initiated coverage with a Buy rating and a $52 target. The consensus target is $55.55. The last trade on Thursday came in at $36.20.
Starbucks Corp. (NASDAQ: SBUX): Deutsche Bank started coverage with a Buy rating and a $118 target price. The consensus target is $111.90. The stock closed on Thursday at $94.42.
The holidays look to be bright this year. The September retail report demolished expectations, which bodes well for the economy and for six top retail stocks.
Thursday’s top analyst upgrades and downgrades included Albemarle, Arm, CrowdStrike, Dow, Fortinet, Hudson Pacific Properties, Lithium Americas, LyondellBasell Industries, Match, Palo Alto Networks, Pinterest, Sibanye-Stillwater, Uber Technologies and Vestis.
Originally published at 24/7 Wall St.
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