The futures were lower, as we start a new trading week that again will feature a tsunami of first-quarter results, as over half of the S&P 500 have yet to report. In addition, Wall Street will grapple with yet another bank failure. Over the weekend, the FDIC seized First Republic Bank and sold the majority of the assets to JPMorgan in the largest bank failure since 2008.
All the major indexes finished higher on Friday, with the small-cap Russell 2000 leading the pack by closing up over 1% on the day. While the move higher has been solid, the reality is that Apple and Microsoft have generated nearly 50% of the S&P 500 gains so far this year. If you add in the rest of the FAANG stocks, the group has accounted for a stunning 94% of the index gains through April.
Treasury yields were sharply lower Friday, as buyers returned to the safe-haven trade after several days of big selling last week. The weaker gross domestic product print for the first quarter, as well as the ongoing sticky inflation, seems to be pushing portfolio managers to add the safety and the high yield on the shorter maturities to portfolios. The 10-year note closed at 3.45%, while the two-year ended at 4.02% as the inversion between the two widened some.
Brent and West Texas Intermediate crude both finished the day higher, with the latter up almost 3%, as some Wall Street analysts predicted that oil prices are poised to rise back toward $90 by the end of the year. They cite the OPEC production cuts and demand in China as reasons for expectations of a back-loaded increase as we approach 2024. Natural gas also finished the day higher, up over 2% at $2.41.
Gold traded higher on Friday, closing at $1,992. We noted last week that central banks continue to stockpile bullion as recession and inflation concerns persist. Bitcoin had a roller-coaster day and finally closed modestly lower at $29,350.
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 Monday, May 1, 2023.
Amazon.com Inc. (NASDAQ: AMZN): Goldman Sachs raised its $145 price target on the Buy-rated shares to $165. The consensus target is $132.49. The stock closed on Friday at $105.45, which was down almost 4% on the day, after it posted solid numbers but provided shaky forward guidance.
Bluebird Bio Inc. (NASDAQ: BLUE): J.P. Morgan started coverage with an Overweight rating and a $7 target price. The consensus target is $6.70. Friday’s $4.35 closing share price was up 18% for the day on the upgrade and the potential for future drugs.
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Carnival Corp. & PLC (NYSE: CCL): J.P. Morgan initiated coverage with a Neutral rating and an $11 target price. The consensus target is $11.18. The stock closed over 3% higher on Friday at $9.21.
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