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The futures were trading higher, as we get ready to end the third quarter. Many investors with whiplash from the huge back-and-forth moves over the past 90 days are probably glad to see it over. All the major indexes were crushed Thursday, with Apple leading the way after a downgrade at BofA Securities. All of Wednesday’s big gains evaporated fast.

The song remains the same, as rising interest rates (30-year mortgage rates jumped over 7% for the first time in 15 years), numerous corporate layoff announcements (with more expected) and concerns that third-quarter earnings, and especially guidance, will be very disappointing all contributed to the risk-off move. Toss in global geopolitical risk, and the path of least resistance still appears to be lower.

Treasury yields were up across the curve, after massive buying Wednesday chopped rates on some maturities by over 20 basis points. The five-year note pushed back to the 4% level, and the dreaded two-year and 10-year inversion stayed in place. The former closed at 4.20% and the latter at 3.77%. With the final gross domestic product print for the second quarter coming in at −0.6% we are technically in the recession the inversion suggests.

Brent and West Texas Intermediate crude closed lower after big gains on Wednesday following the Hurricane Ida landfall. Published reports Thursday said that BP was starting production back up at two Gulf of Mexico offshore oil and gas platforms. Natural gas also closed down, while gold ended the day lower as well. Bitcoin rallied to end modestly higher, after trading lower most of the day. The crypto giant still closed below the $20,000 level at $19,477.50.

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 Friday, September 30, 2022.

Albemarle Corp. (NYSE: ALB): Jefferies reiterated a Buy rating with a $350 target price. The consensus target is $265.44. The shares closed almost 5% lower on Thursday at $265.44.

Apple Inc. (NASDAQ: AAPL): BofA Securities downgraded the technology giant to Neutral from Buy, and it cut its $189 target price to $160. The consensus target is $183.06. The stock was mauled Thursday, closing at $142.48, down almost 5%, largely on the surprising downgrade.

Boston Beer Co. Inc. (NYSE: SAM): Goldman Sachs reiterated a Sell rating with a $251 target price. The higher $319.04 consensus target also is less than Thursday’s close at $332.18.

Cadence Design Systems Inc. (NASDAQ: CDNS): Deutsche Bank initiated coverage with a Buy rating and a $200 target price. The consensus target is $196.31. The stock closed on Thursday at $164.69.