The futures were lower after a solid day across Wall Street in which all the major indexes finished the day higher. Better than expected retail sales data for January, which was the biggest one-month jump in almost two years, along with an improving (but still negative) Empire State Manufacturing print, helped get the risk-on party started. However, they are both seen as yet more tailwinds for the Federal Reserve to keep raising rates. Expectations and futures now see the potential for rate hikes in March, May and July, and the possibility for a terminal rate to end up close to 6%.
Treasury yields were up again across the curve on the strong retail data as the five-year note closed at 4.04% for the first time since mid-November. The inversion between the two-year paper and the 10-year note stayed intact, with the former closing at 4.64% (a three-month high) while the latter ended trading at 3.81%. The inversion indicates recession may be coming.
Brent and West Texas Intermediate crude closed the day lower after the U.S. Energy Information Administration reported a massive build of 16.3 million barrels for the week of February 10. That stunning jump compares with the prior week’s build of just 2.4 million barrels. This comes on the heels of an announced 25 million barrel withdrawal from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve. Natural gas finished the day lower, down close to 4%, at $2.47.
Gold traded lower yet again, as profit takers moved in on the precious metal, which posted an eight-month high in mid-January and has drifted lower ever since. Bitcoin had a huge day, as the cryptocurrency leader closed at $24,179, up almost 9%, much of which was attributed to some short covering.
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 Thursday, February 16, 2023.
Airbnb Inc. (NASDAQ: ABNB): Needham reiterated a Buy rating and nudged its $150 target price up to $155. Cowen maintained an Outperform rating and raised its target to $145 from $135, while UBS stayed with a Neutral rating and its $114 price target increased to $130. The consensus target is $124.76, for now. The stock closed on Wednesday at $137.01, which was up 13% on the day after a fourth-quarter earnings beat and some outstanding forward guidance.
Akamai Technologies Inc. (NASDAQ: AKAM): RBC Capital Markets downgraded the stock from Outperform to Sector Perform and cut its $100 target price to $85. The consensus target is $98.23. The shares closed over 10% lower on Wednesday at $78.65, despite an earnings beat.
Autoliv Inc. (NYSE: ALV): Barclays initiated coverage with an Equal Weight rating and a $100 target price. The consensus target is $100.28. The stock closed at $89.86 on Wednesday.
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