Jefferies Downgrades JPMorgan Stock Ahead of Earnings

Most analysts are bullish on JPMorgan stock

by Karee Venema

Published on Jan 8, 2019 at 10:14 AM

JPMorgan Chase & Co. (NYSE:JPM) is in the spotlight today, after the big-cap financial firm received a bevy of brokerage notes. Citing a potential slowdown in Fed rate hikes and increasing fears of a recession, Jefferies downgraded JPM stock to "hold" from "buy," and lowered its price target to $110 from $130 -- a 9.2% premium to last night's close at $100.76.

Elsewhere, Morgan Stanley cut its price target for large-cap banks by 6%, saying the broader equities market's fourth-quarter sell-off will likely create lower market-based revenues for financial firms. However, the brokerage firm pegged JPMorgan Chase as one of its top picks, pointing to upbeat expectations for loan and deposit growth.

The majority of the 15 analysts covering JPM maintain a "buy" or better rating, while the average 12-month price target of $118.41 stands at a 16.8% premium to current trading levels. More revisions could be on the horizon, though, with the financial firm set to report fourth-quarter earnings before the market opens next Tuesday, Jan. 15. The stock has closed lower in the session after earnings in six of the last eight quarters.

Looking closer at the charts, JPM stock came within pennies of tagging a new record high when it hit the $119.24 mark on Sept. 20. The shares went on to hit a 15-month low of $91.11 on Dec. 26. The security has made a modest recovery off this bottom, but is struggling near the $102 region, home to a 38.2% Fibonacci retracement of its fourth-quarter plunge, last seen up 0.3% at $101.06.

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