Friday’s Top Analyst Upgrades and Downgrades: BJ’s Wholesale Club, Carnival, Etsy, First Solar, MetLife, Norwegian Cruise Line, Oracle, Victoria’s Secret and More

The futures were trading mixed as we prepare to finish off the trading week with a triple-witching Friday, after a big risk-on day across Wall Street when all the major indexes traded higher. The venerable Dow Jones industrial average led the surge, finishing the day up 0.96% at 34,907.11. Investors shook off some hotter than expected inflation data on Wednesday and Thursday, after retail sales numbers soared unexpectedly in August partially on rising gasoline prices. Initial jobless claims came in at 220,000, versus expectations of 225,000. One big threat on the horizon is the potential for a government shutdown if an agreement is not reached by the September 30 deadline.

Treasury yields were higher across the yield curve Thursday, especially through the longer maturities, as the bond market, (as opposed to the equity market) was not overly thrilled with the higher than expected inflation data this week. The benchmark 10-year note closed the session at 4.29%, while the shorter two-year paper was last seen at 5.02%. While the inversion between the two has narrowed, it has remained in place for almost a year ,and many feel it is a harbinger of recession next year.

Brent and West Texas Intermediate crude renewed their charge higher on Thursday, with both benchmarks closing the day solidly higher. Brent closed up 2.16% at $94.04, while WTI ended the day at $90.58. Natural gas also had a solid day, up 1% to close at $2.70.

Gold closed the day slightly lower after the producer price index number came in higher and the big retail sales numbers. The December contract closed at $1,931.60. Bitcoin roared higher for the second day in a row, closing the session at $26,609.20, up another 1.54% on the day.

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 analyst upgrades, downgrades and initiations seen on Friday, September 15, 2023.

Arco Platform Ltd. (NASDAQ: ARCE): J.P. Morgan downgraded the stock to Neutral from Overweight and lowered its $17 target price to $14. The consensus target is $16.47, and the shares ended Thursday trading at $13.76 apiece.

AvalonBay Communities Inc. (NYSE: AVB): Colliers Securities upgraded the stock to Buy from Neutral and has a $202 target price. The consensus target is $204.32. Shares closed on Thursday at $183.47.

ALSO READ: 7 ‘Strong Buy’ Energy MLPs With Huge Dividends Wall Street Loves as Oil Surges Towards $100

BJ’s Wholesale Club Holdings Inc. (NYSE: BJ): TD Cowen started coverage with an Outperform rating and a $80 price target following much better than expected results from the company. The consensus target is $71.39. The stock closed almost 4% higher on Thursday at $69.83 after the upgrade.

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