Friday’s Top Analyst Upgrades and Downgrades: Accenture, Alphabet, Corning, Emerson Electric, FedEx, Kohl’s, Plug Power and More

The futures were mixed as we get ready to wrap up an action-packed trading week that finally saw a pause in the Federal Reserve’s rate-hiking tactics. All the major indexes closed higher on Thursday, with the venerable Dow Jones Industrials leading the way, up 1.26% to 34,408. While the pause is clearly a positive for equities, the reality is that Federal Reserve Chair Powell said there would likely be two more 25-basis-point hikes that will push the Fed’s dot-plot to a 5.6% terminal rate.

Treasury yields were down again across the curve, as buyers continued to pile into the safe haven of government debt for the second day in a row. Despite an estimated $1 trillion of bonds coming to market to refill the Treasury, buyers took advantage of the highest yields since March in the past two trading days. The 10-year note finished the day at 3.73%, while the two-year short paper closed at 4.65%, keeping the inversion between the two well in place.

Brent and West Texas Intermediate crude both surged Thursday, as bargain hunters jumped in to buy the black gold and top stocks in the sector. Brent closed up over 3.3% at $75.62, while WTI finished the day up 3.3% as well at $70.54. While Chinese demand remains a concern, the busy summer driving season should increase domestic demand. Natural gas was the big winner in the space, closing up over 9% at $2.56.

Gold closed modestly higher on the day at $1970.90 after the pause in the interest rate hikes as the bullion has shrunk to a three-month low. The still hawkish tone from the Fed despite the pause was seen as the biggest reason for the selling earlier this week. Bitcoin closed higher, breaking back through the $25,000 level in the afternoon to finish the day at $25,307. The crypto giant has dropped almost 18% since trading over the $30,000 level in April.

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, June 16, 2023.

Accenture PLC (NYSE: ACN): Piper Sandler upgraded the shares to Neutral from Underweight and raised its $250 price target to $316. The consensus target is $325.11. The shares closed on Thursday at $323.69.

ALSO READ: 5 Warren Buffett Dividend Stocks to Grab Now Before Recession Cracks the Market

AeroVironment Inc. (NASDAQ: AVAV): Jefferies started coverage with a Buy rating and a $115 target price. The consensus target is $107.67. The shares closed on Thursday at $94.54.

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