These 2 Dow Stocks Got Wall Street's Attention on Monday

Stock markets were volatile on Monday, clawing back from steep losses early in the morning. The Nasdaq Composite (^IXIC 0.27%) managed to finish higher on the day, but a late-day drop sent the S&P 500 (^GSPC -0.17%) and Dow Jones Industrial Average (^DJI -0.58%) back into negative territory.


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Data source: Yahoo! Finance.

Investors on Wall Street often look closely at the 30 Dow stocks, because they each play such a key role in their respective industries. On Monday, Dow component Walgreens Boots Alliance (WBA 3.29%) got favorable comments from analysts that bolstered its share price, but fellow Dow component Salesforce (CRM -0.85%) wasn’t as fortunate. Here are the details.

Walgreens gets praise for changes in the corporate suite

Shares of Walgreens Boots Alliance were up 3% on Monday. The drugstore chain received some positive feedback from a well-known stock analysis company, and that gave shareholders greater confidence in the company’s future prospects.

Analysts at JPMorgan (JPM -1.36%) upgraded their rating on Walgreens stock from neutral to overweight. They also increased their price target on the drugstore chain’s shares by $3 to $30 per share.

JPMorgan acknowledges that Walgreens still faces some serious challenges. The drugstore retail space remains quite competitive, and macroeconomic pressures could hurt overall profitability. However, the analysts believe that the recent leadership changes that put Tim Wentworth into the CEO position give Walgreens the ability to overcome some of its long-standing problems and improve its overall business performance.

Even with the gains today, Walgreens has still seen its stock lose more than 40% of its value so far in 2023. A vote of confidence is welcome, but Walgreens needs to get moving on the business front in order to fully reassure its shareholders that it’s moving in the right direction.

Salesforce sinks

Moving the other direction, shares of Salesforce were down about 1% on Monday. The move came amid concerns from analysts about the company’s ability to capitalize on all its business opportunities.

Analysts at Piper Sandler cut their rating on Salesforce from overweight to neutral. They also reduced their price target on the stock by $34 per share, setting a new target of $232. Piper seems concerned that Salesforce might not be able to see its revenue gains reaccelerate to past growth rates, even as positive forces like artificial intelligence (AI) line up to help bolster the customer relationship management (CRM) software specialist’s overall prospects.

Salesforce has done its best to jump on the AI bandwagon, making moves within its business to embrace the new technology. CEO Marc Benioff has noted how Salesforce has quickly added generative AI functionality to many of its software platforms. Its Einstein GPT service, for instance, is intended to help clients take their customer data and draw useful insights from it through simple large language model prompts.

Salesforce also wants to give developers AI-based tools to make it easier and faster to create applications that will boost productivity. GPT versions of data analytics software Tableau and collaboration platform Slack could also show the benefits of AI.

Yet Wall Street seems skeptical that those moves will create growth quickly. With other companies showing more immediate success from embracing artificial intelligence, it appears that some Salesforce shareholders are simply impatient to see the benefits of AI show up in the CRM software pioneer’s financial results.

JPMorgan Chase is an advertising partner of The Ascent, a Motley Fool company. Dan Caplinger has positions in JPMorgan Chase. The Motley Fool has positions in and recommends JPMorgan Chase and Salesforce. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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