Sorry!! The article you are trying to read is not available now.
Thank you very much;
you're only a step away from
downloading your reports.

Stock Downgrades: Wal-Mart Hits Brick Wall

By

Wall Street ratings agencies set the tone for today's stock market.

PrintPRINT
What a difference 24 hours makes for Wal-Mart (NYSE:WMT). The Bentonville behemoth and Dow (INDEXDJX:.DJI) darling jumped 1.15% on Monday, boosted by the biggest increase in retail sales since September 2012. This morning, however, shares are showing softness after incurring a rating reduction. William Blair cuts the company to "Underperform," which is Wall Street's $10 euphemism for the four-letter word that dare not speak its name: "Sell." The analyst's concerns on Wal-Mart include emerging e-commerce competitors and sluggish overall industry sales.
 
As for broader market action on Monday, a Hollywood headline summed it up nicely: 'Captain America' holds off 'Rio 2.' US stocks surged, keeping a wall of worry abroad at arm's length. Russian equities imploded 1.3% and National Bank of Greece (NYSE:NBG) nosedived 14.72% as equities in Athens endured an eighth straight day of losses. That represents the country's worst streak since April 2012, and -- naturally enough -- comes hard on the heels of a front page Journal story proclaiming that "The Tide Turns for Greece -- and the Euro Zone." Not that the industry's newspaper of record was the sole one to suffer. In England they say that last week's broadsheets are this week's fish-and-chips wrappers, and that certainly seems to be true for the salmon-colored Financial Times. On Friday, reports on its pages of a criminal probe into Herbalife (NYSE:HLF) had that stock swimming seriously upstream, tumbling some 13.97%. Yesterday shares in the purported pyramid scheme ended up an impressive 4.41%.
 
Today's quarterly earnings announcements include Coca-Cola (NYSE:KO), Johnson and Johnson (NYSE:JNJ), Intel (NASDAQ:INTC), and Infosys (NYSE:INFY).
 
Now let's turn to this morning's rating reductions, a list that includes two other Dow members besides Wal-Mart.
 
AXIS Capital (NYSE:AXS): Raymond James reduces its rating to Perform from Outperform.
 
Diamondback Energy (NASDAQ:FANG): Shares are now Neutral from Buy at SunTrust, which also takes its target price to $75 from $80.
 
International Business Machines (NYSE:IBM): The Dow member is now Neutral from Buy at Citigroup. Its price objective, previously $235, gets taken to $200.
 
International Paper (NYSE:IP): Longbow lowers the stock to Neutral from Buy.
 
PetSmart (NASDAQ:PETM): Bank of America-Merrill Lynch moves the equity to Underperform from Neutral. The target is slashed to $60 from $77.
 
Rock-Tenn (NYSE:RKT): Shares are now Neutral from Buy at Longbow.
 
Travelers (NYSE:TRV): Raymond James reduces the key Dow component to Perform from Outperform.
 
Wal-Mart: Shares are trading lower today on the back of an Underperform-from-Market Perform rating reduction by William Blair.

Also see:

New Stock Coverage: WebMD Puts Obamacare to Shame

Stock Upgrades: Do You Yahoo? It May Be Time To
No positions in stocks mentioned.
The information on this website solely reflects the analysis of or opinion about the performance of securities and financial markets by the writers whose articles appear on the site. The views expressed by the writers are not necessarily the views of Minyanville Media, Inc. or members of its management. Nothing contained on the website is intended to constitute a recommendation or advice addressed to an individual investor or category of investors to purchase, sell or hold any security, or to take any action with respect to the prospective movement of the securities markets or to solicit the purchase or sale of any security. Any investment decisions must be made by the reader either individually or in consultation with his or her investment professional. Minyanville writers and staff may trade or hold positions in securities that are discussed in articles appearing on the website. Writers of articles are required to disclose whether they have a position in any stock or fund discussed in an article, but are not permitted to disclose the size or direction of the position. Nothing on this website is intended to solicit business of any kind for a writer's business or fund. Minyanville management and staff as well as contributing writers will not respond to emails or other communications requesting investment advice.

Copyright 2011 Minyanville Media, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
PrintPRINT
 
Featured Videos

WHAT'S POPULAR IN THE VILLE