Friday’s Top Analyst Upgrades and Downgrades: Allstate, Cisco, CSX, Meta Platforms, Nike, ON Semiconductor, Pinterest, SentinelOne, Zscaler and More

The futures traded lower Friday, as we get ready to close out yet another volatile week on Wall Street. The quadruple witching option and futures expiration Friday could be just the spark for a wild and wooly ride for investors, not unlike Thursday. After the first interest rate increase since 2018, most of the financial media chatter focused on the somewhat hawkish tone to the Fed statement, which laid out six additional interest rate hikes this year and three next year. All the major indexes closed higher for the third straight day, while oil moved back over $100 a barrel and the price of gold was up over 1%, after a string of down days.

The buyers Thursday came back into the Treasury market early, as yields across the curve traded lower across all the maturities, before the sellers returned later in the day to push the 10-year note and the 30-year bond yields marginally higher. The initial buying was likely a combination of the quad witching expiration and some safe-haven purchasing by big institutional accounts.

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, March 18, 2022.

AeroVironment Inc. (NASDAQ: AVAV): Baird raised its $72 price target on the shares to $95 while keeping an Outperform rating. The consensus target is $81.29. The last trade Thursday was reported at $93.46, which was up 15% for the day, as drones made by the company are on the way to Ukraine, per published reports.

Allstate Corp. (NYSE: ALL): Raymond James upgraded the insurance heavyweight to Strong Buy from Outperform and lifted the $145 price objective to $165. The consensus target is lower at $135.08. The shares closed Thursday at $130.92, up nearly 4% on the day.

Apellis Pharmaceutical Inc. (NASDAQ: APLS): Baird raised its price target on the stock to $90 from $83, and it kept an Outperform rating. The consensus target is $71.27. The last trade on Thursday was reported at $46.84, a gain of close to 4% for the day.

Box Inc. (NYSE: BOX): Oppenheimer maintained an Outperform rating and has a $30 price target, citing the company’s very positive analyst day. The consensus target is higher at $32.38. Thursday’s final trade was reported at $27.28, up close to 5% for the day.

ChemoCentryx Inc. (NASDAQ: CCXI): Stifel reiterated a Buy rating and has an $85 price objective. The consensus target is lower at $77, but Thursday’s closing share price was just $25.25, even after a pop of almost 5% on the day.

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