Morning Reads

Morning Reads






  • Goldman upgraded Estee Lauder (EL) to Buy from Neutral with a price target of $303, up from $298. The firm notes the duration of China's zero-Covid policy and the associated impact on the company's business remains high, but after the derating in the stock, these headwinds are now adequately reflected in the valuation. The firm states that next-twelve-month consensus earnings multiple has fallen from 46-times at the end of 2021 to 31-times. The firm adds that this dynamic will prove transitory, stating this historically, price weakness related to transitory events brings buying opportunities.
  • Citi upgraded Oxford Industries (OXM) to Neutral from Sell with a price target of $105, up from $92. The firm continues to see risk to margins longer-term, but says it is unclear when this will materialize. The firm notes Oxford 's business remains "remarkably strong" with quarter-to-date trends at both Tommy Bahama and Lilly Pulitzer above plan. In addition, the Johnny Was acquisition is an incremental positive for Oxford Industries, adds the firm, who now views the stock's the risk/reward as more balanced.
  • JP Morgan upgraded PBF Energy (PBF) to Overweight from Neutral with an unchanged price target of $43. The shares have traded off 32% since their peak, with current levels highly attractive given improvements in the company's balance sheet. The firm notes PBF has created significant equity value via reduction of net debt. The firm believes PBF has the most potential for a rate of change story in terms of returns of capital to shareholders, noting it has thus far maintained a focus on the balance sheet while peers have shifted back to dividends and buybacks. The shares could outperform on the announcement of a base dividend or a special dividend/share buyback, which would likely not come until mid-2023 or early 2024, but could be signaled earlier, the firm writes.


  • Piper Sandler downgraded Arthur J. Gallagher (AJG) to Neutral from Overweight with an unchanged price target of $195. Given the overall stock market, the firm notes Gallagher has performed well, but the firm doesn't see any further catalysts for higher valuation in the near term. This is a valuation call and a call that the company "has probably reached peak results for the current environment," says the firm.
  • SMBC Nikko downgraded Block (SQ) to Neutral from Outperform with a price target of $70, down from $120. The firm cites the company's hard-to-quantify, but material crypto exposure, lack of medium-term visibility, and uncertainty around the potential impact of its more conservative investment strategy on medium-term growth for the downgrade. The firm notes a prolonged crypto winter may limit Cash App upside. In addition, Block's short term focused guidance strategy continues to muddy its medium-term visibility, contends the firm, who thinks the shares will remain range bound in the near-term.
  • Mizuho downgraded Micron Technology (MU) to Neutral from Buy with a price target of $56, down from $75. The firm notes recent checks show steepening DRAM and NAND memory price declines price declines into the December quarter and first half of 202. Also, key data center and server markets are starting to show weakness, with softening demand in China and Europe and slowing CPU/ GPU ramps, says the firm, who sees slowing consumer and hyperscale demand and high inventory as headwinds for the company.
  • As previously reported, Wells Fargo analyst Roger Read downgraded HF Sinclair to Equal Weight from Overweight with a price target of $55, down from $62. The analyst cites the company's lesser exposure to the Atlantic Basin distillate market this winter season.


  • Baird assumed coverage of Datadog (DDOG) with an Outperform rating and $120 price target as part of a broader research note on Cloud Software. The firm notes the company has established itself as cloud-native observability platform leader generating leading growth and strong cash flow. The firm believes that Datadog will sustain its leading growth for many years even with the current macro headwinds.
  • William Blair initiated coverage of Apollo Medical Holdings (AMED) with an Outperform rating and no price target. The firm believes that the company's deeply experienced, physician-led leadership team is truly among the best in class in the advanced primary care space. The firm also believes that the Apollo operating model offers a strong value proposition to all three key constituents in the healthcare value chain. The firm contends that ApolloMed has myriad opportunities to drive organic growth, including same-market sales growth, new market entry and the launch of ancillary service offerings.

Real Quick

  • S&P 500 futures are 0.4% above fair value; the Nasdaq 100 futures are 0.2% above fair value; and the DJIA futures are 0.4% above fair value
  • Key factors driving the futures market:
    • Nervous anticipation in front of the FOMC decision at 2:00 p.m. ET and Fed Chair Powell's press conference at 2:30 p.m. ET
    • Geopolitical tension as President Putin ramps up war effort with "partial" mobilization of 300,000 reservists, according to Bloomberg
    • Pullback in Treasury yields
  • President Biden to speak to UN General Assembly at 10:35 a.m. ET
  • UK announces plan to reduce energy prices for private and public businesses
  • Germany nationalizes Uniper in response to the energy crisis
  • Bank CEOs to testify before House Financial Services Committee at 10:00 a.m. ET
  • Weekly mortgage applications increase (+3.8%) for first time in six weeks with refinancing applications up 10% and purchase applications up 1%
  • Asia Development Banks cuts 2022 China growth forecast to 3.5% from 5.0% and lowers 2023 growth forecast to 4.3% from 5.2%
  • General Mills (GIS) up 2% after beating fiscal Q1 estimates and raising FY23 EPS guidance above consensus
  • Brokerage research calls of note:
    • Upgrades: ANET, EL, OXM, PBF
    • Downgrades: AJG, SQ, CSCO, MU, SHC, SFIX, WDC
  • WTI crude futures +1.8% to $85.95/bbl; nat gas futures +4.4% to $8.06/mmbtu; copper futures -0.4% to $3.49/lb
  • 2-yr note yield -2 bps to 3.95% and 10-yr note yield -4 bps to 3.53%
  • Today's economic data: August Existing Home Sales at 10:00 a.m. ET

Known to most as Uranium Pinto Beans, Jason has more than 15 years under his belt of trading stocks, options and currencies. His expertise primarily lies in chart analysis, and he has a strong eye for undervalued stock. Because he’s got the ability to identify great risk/reward trades he usually enjoys taking the path less traveled and reaping the benefits from the adventure.

He is a co-founder of Option Millionaires, and he is best known for his weekly webinars with Scott, as well as his high level training webinars and charts found in the forums.

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