Friday was a mixed day on Wall Street, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average (^DJI 0.82%) giving back a portion of its gains from Thursday even as other major market benchmarks kept gaining ground. The Dow in particular has held up better than most other stock market indexes, in part because of its blue chip stock focus and its wide array of companies from different industries. Indeed, even after yesterday's big rally, the Dow remains down the least among popular stock measures.
Wall Street analysts pay close attention to the 30 stocks in the Dow, in part because those companies are so important as indicators of what's happening in the global economy. A pair of stocks caught analysts' eye on Friday, with Walgreens Boots Alliance (WBA 4.26%) and Intel (INTC -2.15%) getting differing opinions from various professionals in the industry.
Walgreens gets a nod
Shares of Walgreens Boots Alliance had risen more than 5% at midday on Friday. The drugstore chain giant recently announced a big acquisition, and analysts liked the implications on Walgreens' business of its buying Summit Health.
Analysts at Deutsche Bank (NYSE: DB) upgraded Walgreens stock from hold to buy, boosting their price target on the drugstore chain's shares by $9 to $50 per share. Deutsche Bank believes that Walgreens has come up with a viable strategy to expand its business scope to include more direct healthcare for customers, and it sees Walgreens' VillageMD business as having made a smart move with its offer to buy Summit Health.
Summit Health's business includes a group of physicians and urgent care centers, and Walgreens offered a $9 billion price tag in order to compete more effectively in primary care. The move follows similar acquisitions by rival CVS Health as well as aspiring healthcare entrant Amazon.com, and with hundreds of medical practice locations, Summit offers Walgreens a chance to expand its network offering care dramatically.
After having lost a lot of ground during the first part of 2022, Walgreens stock has rebounded by more than a third just in the past month. Yet with a rock-bottom earnings multiple, investors still seem more skeptical than Deutsche Bank about the drugstore giant's ability to succeed in the long run.
Wall Street chips away at Intel
On the other side of the coin, Intel faced a stock downgrade on Friday. It wasn't enough to pull the share price down, but gains of just a fraction of a percent trailed what most of the semiconductor company's tech peers were seeing on the day.
Analysts at JPMorgan made the unusual move of downgrading Intel stock all the way from overweight from underweight, skipping the usual middle ground of equal weight in the process. JPMorgan also slashed its price target in half, with a new projection of just $32 per share.
JPMorgan is generally quite optimistic about the semiconductor industry as a whole, with favorable trends helping to offset macroeconomic pressures. However, the analyst company's views on Intel are less enthusiastic, raising concerns about losing market share to rival Advanced Micro Devices in the central processing unit space. Intel hasn't executed on its opportunities as well as it could have in recent years, and JPMorgan sees it taking time for the chipmaker to recover its past prowess.
As the lowest-priced stock in the Dow, Intel has drawn criticism from some who believe it no longer deserves its place in the venerable stock index. With the share price having dropped by more than half since early 2021, Intel needs to get moving in the right direction again if it wants to avoid that fate.