The futures were trading positive as we prepare to wrap up trading for the week, month and third quarter. The major indexes closed higher on Thursday, as once again stocks ping-ponged all day before ending higher. Institutional accounts were busy, and will be again Friday, with end-of-the-quarter buying and selling. As is customary, some will be adding “window dressing” so certain stocks like Nvidia (or any and all of the other Magnificent 7 names) are in growth portfolios when third-quarter results are posted.
Treasury yields were down across the curve Thursday, as buyers jumped into all maturities. The one-year Treasury bill closed the day at 5.48%, its highest yield since December of 2000. The five-year note, which closed at 4.63%, finished at its highest level since 2007. The 30-year fixed rate mortgage jumped to 7.83%, the highest since August of 2000. Needless to say, skyrocketing interest rates will soon start to take a very heavy toll on the economy.
Brent and West Texas Intermediate crude took a breather after a huge move higher since the summer, as oil prices have been hitting their highest levels in 13 months. Brent closed the day down 1.46% at $95.14, while WTI was last seen down over 2% at $91.76. The big energy winner was natural gas, which climbed 1.6% higher to finish trading at $2.95, the highest close since January.
Gold, which has been pounded this week and is trading like there is no inflation, closed down again on Thursday at $1,881.10. Analysts were surprised that the market virtually ignored the weak housing data Thursday, as gold continues to trade near a six-month low. Bitcoin jumped nearly 3% higher to close at $27,115.60, after a very rough week for the cryptocurrency giant. Analysts cited end-of-quarter positioning and short covering for the increase.
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, September 29, 2023.
Agilent Technologies Inc. (NYSE: A): Bernstein initiated coverage on the stock with a Market Perform rating and a $123 target price. The consensus target is $139.13, and the closing share price on Thursday was $112.00.
Boeing Co. (NYSE: BA): Deutsche Bank started coverage with a Hold rating and a $204 target price. The consensus target is $251.78. The shares closed on Thursday at $190.43.
Ciena Corp. (NYSE: CIEN): Stifel initiated coverage with a Buy rating and a $62 target price. The consensus target is $59.27. The stock closed almost 3% higher on Thursday at $47.33 after the coverage.
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Digital Bridge Inc. (NYSE: DBRG): J.P. Morgan lifted its Neutral rating to Overweight and its $19 price target to $25. The consensus target is $21.61. The shares closed up almost 5% at $17.32 on the upgrade.
Duolingo Inc. (NASDAQ: DUOL): UBS initiated coverage with a Buy rating and a $195 price target. The consensus target is $159.80. The stock closed 3% higher on Thursday at $159.14 due to the upgrade.
Exact Sciences Corp. (NASDAQ: EXAS): Bernstein initiated coverage with an Outperform rating. Its $83 target price is less than the consensus target of $111.47. Thursday’s close at $69.16 was up almost 3% on the day.
Flywire Corp. (NASDAQ: FLYW): BTIG Research initiated coverage with a Buy rating and a $37 target price. The consensus target is $38.91, and Thursday’s close was at $32.08.
General Electric Co. (NYSE: GE): Deutsche Bank started coverage with a Buy rating and a $141 target price. The consensus target is $124.89, and shares closed on Thursday at $112.34.
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