As Wall Street Waits on the Fed, Analysts Upgrade or Downgrade Microsoft, KKR, Tilray and More

The major indexes traded lower Wednesday morning. In the afternoon, Federal Reserve Chair Powell is expected to announce the fourth straight 75-basis-point increase in the federal funds rate this year, taking the benchmark rate to 3.75% to 4.00%. With most of Wall Street anticipating a 5% terminal rate for the increases, this puts us close to the end. Wednesday’s positive ADP employment report likely was the final nail in an already-finished coffin.

Most across Wall Street will be interested in Powell’s commentary and the possibility that next month’s increase at the final Fed meeting for the year will be lowered to 50 basis points, or if the overall pace of tightening could slow. The problem with that is that any slowdown could mean a longer tightening cycle. In other words, rip the band-aid off and be done with it by February.

Here, 24/7 Wall St. is reviewing additional analyst calls seen on Wednesday. We have included the latest call on each stock, as well as a recent trading history and the consensus targets among analysts. Analyst calls seen earlier in the day were on AppLovin, Charles Schwab, First Solar, Halliburton, Monster Beverage, QuantumScape, Union Pacific and more.

Abiomed Inc. (NASDAQ: ABMD): Morgan Stanley upgraded the stock to Equal Weight from Underweight, and its $235 price target rocketed to $380. The consensus target is $332.40. The shares were trading near $377 Wednesday, in a 52-week trading range is $219.85 to $381.99.

Bally’s Corp. (NYSE: BALY): Stifel’s downgrade to Hold from Buy included a target price trim to $25 from $28. The consensus target is $26.25. The stock was trading near $22.55 Wednesday. The 52-week trading range is $17.54 to $47.39.

Centerspace (NYSE: CSR): Compass Point lowered its Buy rating to Neutral and cut the $100 target price to $75. The consensus target is $82 for now. The stock was down another 2% on Wednesday, trading near $65.40. The company posted a third-quarter net loss per share this week. The 52-week trading range is $62.79 to $112.27.

CrowdStrike Holdings Inc. (NASDAQ: CRWD): Macquarie initiated coverage on the cybersecurity heavyweight with an Outperform rating and a $220 target price. That compares with the consensus target of $239.86. Over the past 52 weeks, the stock has traded between $130 and $298.48, and shares were trading near $154 Wednesday morning.

Denali Therapeutics Inc. (NASDAQ: DNLI): BTIG Research’s upgrade was from Neutral to Buy with a $38 target price. The consensus target is up at $66.43. The 52-week trading range is $20.24 to $56.03. The stock traded near $31.40 Wednesday, up over 8% after posting positive clinical results Tuesday.

Ecolab Inc. (NYSE: ECL): Deutsche Bank downgraded the shares to Hold from Buy and cut its $165 target price to $135. The consensus target is $169.75. Over the past 52 weeks, the stock has traded between $136.93 and $238.93, and it was trading near $142.70 Wednesday.

KKR & Co. Inc. (NYSE: KKR): BofA Securities upgraded the private equity behemoth to Buy from Neutral. It also bumped its price target to $60 from $57, which is less than the consensus target of $62.43. Over the past year, the stock has traded between $41.77 and $83.90. The shares were trading close to $50.20 on Wednesday.

Microsoft Corp. (NASDAQ: MSFT): Macquarie started coverage with a Neutral rating and a $234 target price. The consensus target is higher at $304.94. Shares were trading near $226.60 Wednesday, in a 52-week trading range of $219.13 to $349.67.

Tilray Brands Inc. (NASDAQ: TLRY): Bernstein started coverage on the pot stock with a Market Perform rating and a $3.90 target. The consensus is set much higher at $15.20. The 52-week trading range is $2.65 to $13.90. The stock was trading near $3.76 Wednesday

Twilio Inc. (NYSE: TWLO): BofA Securities downgraded the shares to Underperform from Buy and slashed the target price to $85 from $175. The consensus target is set at $121.78 for now. The 52-week trading range is $62.10 to $317. The stock was trading near $71.55 down almost 5% Wednesday after the downgrade.

Six blue-chip stocks with big payouts have been ignored or abandoned and are trading incredibly cheaply. For long-term investors searching for stability and passive income, they offer strong total return potential for 2023 and beyond.

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