Stock Market Update for February 22rd, 2024

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Global Markets

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The tech-heavy Nasdaq, experienced a significant jump following Nvidia’s impressive financial results and optimistic forecast. Nvidia’s success further fueled the already existing enthusiasm surrounding artificial intelligence, contributing to the ongoing rally on Wall Street, which has seen record highs throughout the year.

The positive sentiment in global equity markets was evident across various indices. In Canada, the main stock index saw gains, buoyed by an increase in commodity prices.

Similarly, Europe’s STOXX 600 reached an all-time high, propelled by strong performance in the technology sector. Investors eagerly awaited the release of minutes from the European Central Bank’s recent policy meeting, seeking insights into the bank’s stance on monetary policy and economic outlook.

Meanwhile, Japan’s Nikkei surged to a record high, surpassing the peak reached during the 1989 bubble era. This remarkable milestone was driven by across-the-board gains, with chip-related shares particularly leading the rally.

Amidst these positive developments in equity markets, the U.S. dollar experienced a decline. This drop can be attributed to the prevailing optimism among investors, who favored riskier assets such as equities over the safe-haven appeal of the dollar. Overall, the global investment landscape reflected a broad sense of optimism, with investors embracing the positive momentum across various asset classes.

Stock News

  1. Ansys Inc & Synopsys Inc: Ansys beat Wall Street estimates for Q4 revenue and profit, driven by demand for engineering software. Synopsys forecast Q2 revenue and profit above estimates, anticipating demand for chip-designing software.
  2. APA Corp (US): Reported Q4 earnings below estimates due to weaker North Sea production, forecasting flat spending and production for 2024.
  3. Cheniere Energy Inc: Posted a 38.5% fall in full-year LNG revenue due to lower natgas prices, but saw a slight increase in LNG volumes loaded.
  4. Etsy Inc: Warned of a fall in Q1 gross merchandise sales due to weak demand for handcrafted goods and personalized gifts.
  5. Gold Fields Ltd: Raised its 2024 gold output forecast, expecting rapid production ramp-up at its new Chilean mine. However, reported a decline in headline earnings for 2023.
  6. Grab Holdings Ltd: Reported its first-ever quarterly profit and announced a share repurchase plan, forecasting 2024 revenue slightly below analysts’ estimates.
  7. Harmony Gold Mining Company Ltd: Forecasted a more than 200% increase in half-year profit, driven by higher gold output and prices.
  8. Host Hotels & Resorts Inc: Forecasted higher 2024 revenue, expecting a continued recovery in demand for business travel.
  9. Lloyds Banking Group Plc: Reported a 57% jump in annual profit despite economic challenges, announcing a final dividend and share buyback.
  10. Lucid Group Inc & Rivian Automotive Inc: Forecasted 2024 production below analyst estimates due to high borrowing costs, with Rivian also planning workforce cuts.
  11. Marathon Oil Corp: Beat Q4 profit estimates on higher production, expecting total oil production to increase in 2024.
  12. Moderna Inc: Reported a surprise Q4 profit and reaffirmed its 2024 revenue forecast, aided by cost-cutting measures.
  13. Mosaic Co: Posted a lower Q4 profit due to declining fertilizer prices, announcing a curtailment in potash production.
  14. Nordson Corp: Forecasted Q2 profit below estimates due to slow recovery in electronics and semiconductor markets.
  15. Nutrien Ltd: Reported a drop in Q4 profit due to lower potash prices, missing analyst estimates.
  16. Nvidia Corp: Forecasted a surge in quarterly revenue, beating estimates, driven by demand for its AI chips.
  17. Royal Caribbean Group Ltd: Raised its annual profit forecast, benefiting from strong cruise demand.
  18. Suncor Energy Inc: Beat Q4 profit estimates on higher production.
  19. Teck Resources Ltd: Beat Q4 profit estimates, benefiting from increased coal and copper sales.
  20. Telefonica SA: Reported a Q4 net loss but met 2023 core profitability and revenue goals, reiterating 2024 targets.

Latest Analyst Ratings:

  1. Air Canada: JPMorgan has raised its target price for Air Canada to C$41 from C$38. This adjustment reflects the firm’s confidence in the airline’s strong balance sheet and the anticipation of growing international demand. With global travel gradually resuming amid easing pandemic restrictions, Air Canada is poised to benefit from increased passenger traffic and improved financial performance.
  2. GFL Environmental Inc: CIBC has increased its target price for GFL Environmental Inc to C$58 from C$57. The rationale behind this adjustment lies in the company’s commitment to deleveraging, which is expected to help narrow the valuation discount against its peers. GFL Environmental’s strategic efforts to strengthen its financial position and enhance operational efficiency position it well for future growth and value creation.
  3. Analog Devices Inc: JPMorgan has raised its target price for Analog Devices Inc to $220 from $205. This adjustment is driven by the firm’s expectation of meaningful margin expansion and earnings leverage, particularly as the company continues to realize cost synergies from the Maxim acquisition. Analog Devices’ focus on innovation and diversification within the semiconductor industry enhances its competitiveness and growth prospects.
  4. Exact Sciences Corp: Canaccord Genuity has lowered its target price for Exact Sciences Corp to $90 from $100. This adjustment follows the company’s first-quarter revenue guidance, which indicated a decrease in Screening revenue compared to previous quarters. Despite this softer outlook, Exact Sciences remains a key player in the healthcare sector, with ongoing efforts to advance cancer screening and diagnostic technologies.
  5. Nvidia Corp: Bernstein has raised its target price for Nvidia Corp to $1000 from $700. This adjustment comes in response to Nvidia’s impressive fourth-quarter results and robust first-quarter guidance, driven primarily by continued strength in the Datacenter segment. Nvidia’s leadership in artificial intelligence, gaming, and data center technologies positions it for sustained growth and market leadership.
  6. Wix.com Ltd: Needham has increased its target price for Wix.com Ltd to $160 from $150. This adjustment follows Wix.com’s better-than-expected fourth-quarter results and positive guidance for 2024 and 2025, citing higher bookings growth. Wix.com’s user-friendly website development platform continues to attract businesses and individuals seeking an online presence, driving revenue growth and market expansion.
  7. Workday Inc: JPMorgan has raised its target price for Workday Inc to $300 from $260. This adjustment reflects the firm’s optimism regarding Workday’s multi-year growth potential, supported by its presence in large established markets and a robust cloud product offering. Workday’s innovative human capital management and financial management solutions position it as a key player in the enterprise software market, poised for sustained growth and value creation.

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