Friday’s Top Analyst Upgrades and Downgrades: Agilent, Bunge, Duolingo, Dynatrace, Emerson Electric, Kohl’s, Oshkosh, Regions Financial, Splunk, Spotify and More

The futures were trading lower this Friday, as the holiday-shortened trading week comes to an end. The nonfarm payrolls report for June came in much higher than expected, with 372,000 jobs being added, versus expectations for 250,000. Investors’ attention will turn to the kick-off next week of second-quarter earnings results.

All the major indexes closed much higher Thursday, despite some very hawkish commentary that came in the form of the release of the Federal Reserve’s FOMC minutes in which all the members are committed to a heavy, front-loaded cycle of interest rate increases, which very likely will include a 75-basis-point hike later this month.

After plummeting most of the week, much to the delight of beleaguered consumers, oil was up big on Thursday, with both Brent and West Texas Intermediate trading higher after the United States slapped new sanctions on Iran as the nuclear negotiations stalled. Brent closed up 3.3%, while WTI was up 3.6%, and natural gas soared, closing up over 12%. Gold traded flat, while Bitcoin was up over 5%.

Yields were up across the Treasury curve as sellers returned. The bond market is keeping a very close eye on the return of the inversions between the two-year and 10-year notes, as the yield on the short-term two-year is higher than the 10-year, which almost always indicates a recession is imminent.

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 July 8, 2022.

Agilent Technologies Inc. (NYSE: A): Citigroup downgraded the stock to Neutral from Buy and cut the price target objective to $140 from $175. The last trade for Thursday hit the tape at $123.15 a share.

Aspen Technology Inc. (NASDAQ: AZPN): Baird downgraded the stock to Neutral from Overweight and trimmed the $170 target price to $162. The consensus target is $193.83. The shares ended trading Thursday at $187.88.

Bunge Ltd. (NYSE: BG): J.P. Morgan upgraded the stock to Overweight from Neutral but lowered the price target to $106 from $130. No consensus target was available. The stock closed trading on Thursday at $88.75, which was up over 3% for the day.

Duolingo Inc. (NASDAQ: DUOL): Needham started coverage with a Buy rating and a $115 price target. The consensus target is $108.63. The stock closed Thursday at $106.29, up close to 10% on the day.

Dynatrace Inc. (NYSE: DT): Canaccord Genuity resumed coverage with a Buy rating and a $55 target. The consensus target is $49.63. Thursday’s close at $42.53 was up over 3% on the day.

Emerson Electric Co. (NYSE: EMR): J.P. Morgan resumed coverage with a Neutral rating and an $80 target price. The consensus target is higher at $105.91. The last trade Thursday came in at $80.79.

JFrog Ltd. (NASDAQ: FROG): Canaccord Genuity started coverage with the Buy rating and a $30 price target. The consensus target is $27.17. The final trade for Thursday was reported at $23.89, up almost 5% for the day.

Kohl’s Corp. (NYSE: KSS): Gordon Haskett downgraded the stock to Hold from Accumulate and has a price target of $30. The consensus target is higher at $37. The stock closed Thursday at $28.26, up over 3% on the day.

Lamar Advertising Co. (NASDAQ: LAMR): Citigroup upgraded the stock to Buy from Neutral but trimmed the $112 target price to $108. The consensus target is $118.25. The stock closed Thursday at $91.72, up almost 4% on the day.

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