The stock market was unaffected Thursday by the historic impeachment of President Trump on Wednesday evening. The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJINDICES:^DJI) was up 0.35% as of 2 p.m. EST, carving out a new all-time high.
Helping the cause was Cisco Systems (NASDAQ:CSCO), which received an analyst upgrade despite looming revenue declines. Shares of Boeing (NYSE:BA) were also up a bit, even as the company's debt was downgraded due to the ongoing 737 MAX crisis.
Cisco gets an upgrade
Shares of Cisco have been weak over the past few months, down about 17% from their 52-week high. The networking hardware provider is seeing some hesitation from its customers as they grapple with global economic uncertainty. Cisco expects to report a revenue decline between 3% and 5% for its fiscal second quarter, ending a growth streak that has propelled the stock in recent years.
Downturns driven by uncertainty are nothing new for Cisco, and Barclays analyst Tim Long sees the stock's weakness as an opportunity. Long upgraded Cisco on Thursday from equal weight to overweight, and he raised his price target from $47 to $53 per share.
Long sees product cycles in switching, routing, and WLAN driving growth, and he pointed to strong performances from the security and applications segments. While Cisco still makes most of its money selling networking gear like switches and routers, the company is also a force in software-heavy areas like cybersecurity and collaboration.
Another potential growth driver is the company's recent move to start selling networking chips directly to large cloud companies. In a world where cloud infrastructure providers are increasingly designing their own networking gear, Cisco's traditional strategy of keeping its chips to itself is leaving money on the table.
Cisco stock was up 2.5% on the news, continuing its recovery from its post-earnings lows.
Boeing's debt seen as riskier
Following Boeing's decision to temporarily halt production of its grounded 737 MAX, Moody's has cut the rating on the company's unsecured debt to reflect the issues with the plane. Moody's has dropped its rating from A3 to A2, although it has also moved its outlook from negative to stable.
"The downgrades follow the extension of the grounding of the 737 MAX into 2020, the announced plan to shut down this important program for some interim period, and the uncertainty and elevated risk -- both financial and operational -- for Boeing and its broader supply chain over the ensuing period," said Jonathan Root, lead analyst for Moody's.
Boeing's debt is still viewed as carrying relatively low risk, thanks to a duopoly in the large commercial airplane market and the company's status as a U.S. defense contractor. But Moody's said there would be no upwards pressure on the ratings until the 737 MAX situation is fully resolved. And another downgrade could be in the cards if the 737 MAX grounding leaks into the second half of 2020.
Boeing stock was able to shake off the news, rising 0.35%.