The futures were lower after a serious risk-off day that saw all the major indexes close lower despite huge ADP employment numbers and some solid earnings. The sell-off got a huge tailwind when rating agency Fitch downgraded the U.S. credit rating to AA+ from AAA, citing “a steady deterioration in standards of governance.” While that covers a lot of ground, the reality is we are swimming in debt and the current administration continues to push for more spending. Strategists around Wall Street feel that the potential for another rate hike in September will be totally dependent on incoming data between now and then.
Treasury yields were higher again Wednesday, after a big spike on Tuesday. The Fitch downgrade was the obvious negative for the government debt. All the longer maturities sold off, and once again the benchmark 10-year note and the 30-year long bond stayed above the 4% level, at 4.09% and 4.18%, respectively. While narrowing, the inversion between the two-year and 10-year paper remains in place.
Brent and West Texas Intermediate crude were hammered on Wednesday, with both closing down big despite a huge crude inventor draw. The U.S. Energy Information Administration estimated a gigantic inventory draw of 17 million barrels for the final week of July. Brent closed the day at $82.97, down 2.3%, while WTI closed at $79.23, down 2.6%. Natural gas also closed lower at $2.48, down over 3%.
Gold closed the day modestly lower, as safe-haven buying was paired with some nervous selling in the complex. Traders also cited a stronger dollar, which hit a three-week high, plus the continuing rise in Treasury yields. The December contract closed at $1,971.60, down $7.20. Bitcoin was also a midweek victim, closing down 1.4% at $29,293.10.
24/7 Wall St. reviews dozens of analyst research reports each weekday 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 Wall Street analyst upgrades, downgrades and initiations seen on Thursday, August 3, 2023.
Advanced Micro Devices Inc. (NASDAQ: AMD): Citigroup raised its Neutral rating to Buy and its $120 target price to $136. The consensus target is $121.82. The stock closed over 8% lower on Wednesday at $109.35 due to the big tech sell-off.
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Caesars Entertainment Inc. (NYSE: CZR): Stifel raised its $68 price target on the Buy-rated stock to $74. The consensus target is $70.69. Wednesday’s closing share price of $55.29 was down over 4% for the day.
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