The futures were trading higher across the board Monday after a wild week on Wall Street that saw some big-time risk-off selling. The major indexes closed mixed on Friday, with the Dow Jones industrials and the Russell 2000 scratching out meager gains while the S&P 500 and the Nasdaq closed lower. The Nasdaq loss resulted in the third consecutive losing week for the index for the first time since December of 2022. One of the biggest reasons is continued weakness in China, as the country’s largest real estate developer filed for Chapter 15 bankruptcy in the United States. Many feel a systemic shock from China could spread across other markets as the economy continues to struggle despite years of government backing.
Treasury yields were lower across the board on Friday, as nervous investors took advantage of a week of selling to buy the safe-haven government debt at the highest yields in almost a year. The 10-year note closed the day at 4.25%, while the two-year paper was last seen at 4.94%. The ongoing inversion still suggests that recession is headed our way, though at this point most believe that it will be a 2024 event.
Brent and West Texas Intermediate crude closed higher on Friday. Economic concerns from China and slowing growth across much of the rest of the world threaten demand, while massive inventory draws and production cuts help to backstop the black gold. Brent finished the day up 0.76% at $84.76, while WTI was up 0.92% to close at $81.31. Natural gas finished the week lower at $2.57, down almost 3%.
Gold caught a small bid on Friday, as the December contract closed the day at $1,918.50. Traders cited short covering and bargain hunting in the bullion for the tepid strength to end the week. The biggest loser was cryptocurrency giant Bitcoin, which was hammered last week and closed down an additional 1.91% at $26,117.80 on Friday to finish off a dreadful week.
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 Wall Street analyst upgrades, downgrades and initiations seen on Monday, August 21, 2023.
Aflac Inc. (NYSE: AFL): Morgan Stanley downgraded the shares to Equal Weight from Overweight but bumped its target price up to $75 from $74. That is more or less in line with the consensus target of $75.45 and Friday’s closing print of $75.16.
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Beazer Homes USA Inc. (NYSE: BZH): Wedbush downgraded the stock to Neutral from Outperform and has a $32 target price. That compares with a $35.33 consensus target and Friday’s closing print of $28.06, which was up almost 8% for the day on the downgrade.
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