The futures were flat to start the first trading day of the second quarter, after a big Friday rally to finish up what was a very volatile but profitable first quarter. All the major indexes finished the day higher, with the Nasdaq leading the way, as once again big technology stocks were the target. Strategists also pointed to the lower print for the core personal consumption expenditures index, which came in at 0.3% versus the expected 0.4%. Other inflation reports were lower as well. While the S&P 500 finished the quarter higher, it was noted Friday that just eight stocks drove the index to the upside for the first 90 days of 2023.
Another tailwind for the market on Friday was that Treasury yields were lower across the curve. As noted last week, quarter-end window dressing by portfolio managers could have driven some of the demand for the bonds. Despite the buying, yields were still up sharply last week. The 10-year note closed the day at 3.49%, while the two-year finished the day at 4.04%, keeping the inversion well in place.
Brent and West Texas Intermediate crude both closed higher on Friday, concluding a strong week for the two oil benchmarks, which were up almost 10%. Analysts also noted that the rig count dropped for the week, as some companies had slowed drilling due to a big drop in pricing earlier in March. Natural gas was the big winner, closing up over 5% at $2.22.
Gold closed lower to end the quarter as profit takers came in after a very solid move higher that saw the bullion trade back over the $2,000 level, before pulling back to close at $1,970. Bitcoin, which exploded higher during the first quarter, finished the week on a strong note, up 1.6% to close at $28,478.
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, April 3, 2023.
Advance Auto Parts Inc. (NYSE: AAP): Barclays upgraded the shares to Equal Weight from Underweight and lowered its $140 target price to $129. The consensus target is $151.08. The stock closed on Friday at $121.61.
AmerisourceBergen Corp. (NYSE: ABC): Citigroup initiated coverage with a Buy rating and a $185 target price. The consensus target is $184.07. Friday’s final trade was for $160.11 a share.
BlackBerry Ltd. (NYSE: BB): TD Securities upgraded the shares from Reduce to Hold with a $4 price target. The consensus target is $4.77. The stock closed on Friday at $4.56.
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