The futures were down big across the board Friday, after a wild and wooly week on Wall Street. All eyes and ears on Wall Street were focused on Federal Reserve Chair Powell this week as he confirmed what was generally known: The interest rate hikes will start in March and there should be at least four this year, with some speculating they could be .50 basis points each instead of .25 basis points.
A very positive fourth-quarter gross domestic product report helped to buffer the end-of-the-day selling that hit the market on consecutive days, and once again on Thursday. All three major indexes ended lower after posting big early gains, with the selling spurred on by supply chain issues, growth concerns and the ongoing inflation worries.
A big positive for investors and the economy is that the surge of Omicron cases appears to be peaking and starting to fall. Also, the corporate stock buyback windows are opening back up, and that could put a supporting bid under the market. Some strategists even noted that stocks have performed reasonably well against an inflation backdrop.
24/7 Wall St. reviews dozens of analyst research reports each day of the week 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, January 28, 2022.
Abbott Laboratories (NYSE: ABT): UBS kept a Buy rating on the pharmaceutical heavyweight and raised the target price to $142 from $138. Raymond James reiterated an Outperform rating but dropped the $150 target price to $143. That compares with the $144.58 consensus target and Thursday’s closing print of $120.44.
Albemarle Inc. (NYSE: ALB): HSBC Securities upgraded the stock to Buy from Hold and raised the target price to $280 from $250. The consensus target is $261.29. The final trade on Thursday was reported at $205.48.
ArcelorMittal (NYSE: MT): Goldman Sachs cut the stock to Neutral from Buy. The shares have traded in a 52-week range of $21.24 to $37.87 and have a $50.73 consensus target price. The final trade on Thursday was reported at $28.68, which was down almost 5% for the day.
AT&T Inc. (NYSE: T): UBS reiterated a Buy rating on the legacy telecommunications giant and trimmed the target price to $32 from $34. Wells Fargo kept an Equal Weight and dropped the price target to $26 from $27, while Cowen reiterated a Market Perform call and lowered its target price to $29 from $34. The consensus target is $30.30. The last trade for Thursday was for $24.12 a share.
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