The futures were mixed after a solid Tuesday that once again saw all the major indexes finish the day higher. The Nasdaq and the S&P 500 posted 2023 highs. The tailwind for stocks was the reasonably benign consumer price index (CPI) report for May, which came in at 4.0%, just below expectations for a 4.1% year-over-year increase. The core CPI number, which backs out the volatile food and energy results, came in at 5.3%, in line with 5.3% expectations. CPI inflation has now declined for 12 consecutive months, following the most aggressive Federal Reserve rate hike cycle in decades. Most across Wall Street now expect Fed Chair Powell to announce a June pause.
Treasury yields were higher for the second day running, as sellers came in big after the noon hour as the bond market also spent Tuesday deciphering the inflation data. With the odds very solid that there will not be a rate increase Wednesday, buyers could be ready to step into what will be a huge onslaught of government debt being brought to market to refill the Treasury coffers as the quarter draws to a close. The 10-year note finished the day at 3.84%, while the two-year paper closed at 4.68%, widening the inversion between the two securities.
Brent and West Texas Intermediate crude were big winners Tuesday, both closing up over 3% after a dreadful Monday that saw the major benchmarks get clobbered to the tune of 4.5%. With the CPI data coming in as good or better than expected, worries over a June rate increase have been dramatically lowered, and oil traders took advantage of the lowest price levels since mid-March to add or initiate positions. Natural gas closed almost 3% higher at $2.33.
Gold prices dropped, after initially moving higher on the CPI data, and finished the day down 0.70% at $1955.60 for the August contract. Bitcoin rallied off the lows of the day to close modestly higher at $25,930. Ongoing worries of government regulation have weighed on the cryptocurrency giant since March.
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 Wednesday, June 14, 2023.
Apple Inc. (NASDAQ: AAPL): Though UBS downgraded the stock to Neutral from Buy, it bumped its $180 price target up to $190. The consensus target is $186.14, and shares closed on Tuesday at $183.31.
Assurant Inc. (NYSE: AIZ): Piper Sandler upgraded the stock to Overweight from Neutral, but its $144 target price is less than the $159.20 consensus target. The shares closed up over 4% on Tuesday at $130.32 after the upgrade.
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