Tuesday’s Top Analyst Upgrades and Downgrades: Aflac, Chesapeake Energy, First Republic Bank, Luminar, Starwood, VFC, XPeng and More

The futures for all the major indexes turned lower on Tuesday, after edging out a small gain to start the week. While earnings season is still in full swing, markets remain hesitant to decide whether they are in back on the upswing. This partly is due to the fact that the Federal Reserve is still somewhat uncertain on the future of interest rates. On one hand, rampant inflation should be met with higher rates, as the policy has been, but with an easing of rates there is decreased risk of recession later on. It is a difficult tightrope for Fed Chair Powell to walk in the near term.

Brent and West Texas Intermediate crude bounced back slightly on Monday, but WTI pushed lower Tuesday morning, with its price holding just above $78 a barrel. While oil has backed up from the big move higher, which was a result of OPEC announcing a big production cut, analysts cite the summer driving season and increased Chinese demand as support for higher prices to come.

Gold edged lower Tuesday but was holding just below the $2,000 level at $1,989. Some feel that gold can take a run at new all-time highs, should there be any disruptions in the equity markets. Bitcoin continued its slide yet again in Tuesday’s premarket, down slightly at $27,388.

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 Tuesday, April 25, 2023.

Aflac Inc. (NYSE: AFL): Wells Fargo initiated coverage with an Equal Weight rating and a $73 price target. The consensus target is $70.67. The stock closed on Monday at $66.08.

ASML Holding N.V. (NASDAQ: ASML): Stifel downgraded the stock to Hold from Buy. The consensus target is $736.29. The stock closed down almost 1% on Monday at $627.38.

Black Knight Inc. (NYSE: BKI): Citing negative year-over-year growth and falling estimates, Zacks selected this software stock as its Bear of the Day. Shares have traded as high as $79.78 in the past year but closed most recently at $55.54. That is down about 10% year to date.

ALSO READ: 5 Analyst Favorite ‘Strong Buy’ Value Stocks With Dependable Dividends

Blackstone Mortgage Trust Inc. (NYSE: BXMT): BTIG Research resumed coverage with a Buy rating and a $19 price target. That is well below the $22.83 consensus target but above Monday’s closing print of $17.70.

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