The futures were lower Friday, as we look to close out a very volatile trading week after a massive risk-off day on Thursday. The song remains the same, as the potential conflict in Ukraine continues to keep investors’ attention. Reports have indicated that U.S. officials maintain that Russia has removed no troops from the Ukraine border, a claim Russia has denied. While hopes for a solution via diplomacy are still on the table, many across Wall Street remain skeptical. Federal Reserve policy and inflation are the other items continuing to stay front and center.
The major indexes were crushed Thursday, with the Nasdaq down almost 3%, the S&P 500 down over 2% and the Dow Jones industrials down close to 2%. The only buying was in the Treasury market, as a flight to safety was largely responsible for yields dropping across the curve, with the benchmark 10-year note falling below the 2% level. Both Brent and West Texas Intermediate crude posted losses, as rumblings that a nuclear deal resurrection with Iran could be on the horizon.
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, February 18, 2022.
Altice USA Inc. (NYSE: ATUS): Atlantic Equities downgraded the shares to Neutral from Overweight and cut the target price to $13 from $21. The consensus target is $23.24 for now, especially after the stock closed Thursday at $11.83, down almost 18% despite posting results that exceeded expectations.
Applied Materials Inc. (NASDAQ: AMAT): UBS kept a Neutral rating on the legacy semiconductor capital equipment giant but lifted its target price to $160 from $150. Needham reiterated a Buy rating and raised the target price to $172 from $166. Mizuho also kept a Buy rating on the shares, and it nudged up the target price to $180 from $178. The consensus price objective is $172.61, and Thursday’s last trade was reported at $136.47, down over 3% for the day.
Atlas Corp. (NYSE: ATCO): BofA Securities downgraded the stock to Underperform from Neutral and has a $14.50 target. The consensus target is $18.06. Thursday’s final trade was posted at $14.76, down over 8% on the day.
Block Inc. (NYSE: SQ): Daiwa Securities started coverage of the former Square with a Buy rating and a $160 target price. The consensus is up at $231.93. well above the $104.02 closing price on Thursday.
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