Friday’s Top Analyst Upgrades and Downgrades: Bank of America, Dell, Dollar General, Goldman Sachs, Home Depot, Lowe’s, McDonald’s, Roku, Seagate and More

The futures traded lower as investors get ready to end the holiday-shortened trading week that has proven to live up to the September “worst month of the year” title so far. All the major indexes closed lower again on Thursday, with the exception of the Dow Jones industrials, which eked out a small gain. The same issues are being cited for the ongoing weakness, not the least of which is the continued strength in the dollar, and the concerns over energy prices that have soared to the highest level since November of last year. Needless to say, all eyes will be focused on the consumer price index numbers for August that will come out next Wednesday.

Treasury yields finished the day lower across the curve, with the buyers showing up late in the day, after a wild trading week that saw some big moves both higher and lower. The inflation data is also weighing on the bond complex as the market has pretty much priced in no move by the Federal Reserve when it meets later in the month. A spike in the inflation number could send more volatility into an already nervous sector. The 10-year note closed Thursday at 4.26%, while the two-year paper was last seen at 4.95%. The ongoing inversion suggests recession could be around the corner.

Brent and West Texas Intermediate crude finished Thursday modestly lower, as some profit-taking likely was behind the small move down as U.S. gasoline pump prices hit their highest seasonal level in a decade. This after Goldman Sachs was reported to say that oil could trade up as high as $107 next year if current production cuts by OPEC and others stay in place. Brent closed the day down 0.64% at $90.02, while WTI finished the day at $86.97, down 0.65%. Natural gas closed flat at $2.51.

Gold finished the day lower as U.S. weekly jobless claims came in lower than expected. The December contract finished the day at $1,942.20. The strong dollar has also kept the pressure on the bullion that is having a difficult time breaking through resistance. Bitcoin had its first up day in a while, closing Thursday at $25,873.40, a gain of 0.49%.

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 8, 2023.

AeroVironment Inc. (NASDAQ: AVAV): Alembic Global Advisors downgraded the shares from Overweight to Neutral with a $115 target price. The consensus target is $118.50. The shares closed on Thursday at $113.08.

ALSO READ: 7 Perfectly Priced ‘Strong Buy’ Dividend Blue Chip Stocks Yielding Up to 9.2%

Akamai Technologies Inc. (NASDAQ: AKAM): BofA Securities initiated coverage with a Buy rating and a $145 target price. The consensus target is $105.99. The shares closed at $104.07 on Thursday.

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