At a time when stock market volatility has “returned with a vengeance,” analyst optimism seems to be on the uptick. This according to a recent article in CNN Money.
The article cites FactSet data showing that, of the more than 11,000 analyst ratings on S&P 500 stocks, 52% are “buy” ratings and only 5% are “sell” ratings. The number of buy ratings, it adds, has risen by 5% since the end of 2017, as the S&P 500 has dipped by 2% since the start of the year. “It makes sense,” it says, “that analysts would have a rosier view on stocks now than earlier this year since the market pulled back. Buy low and sell high is every investor’s goal, after all.”
One possible explanation, the article points out, is that analysts could be proceeding with caution to avoid straining relationships with the management teams of the companies they cover. “More cynically,” it continues, “analysts at the bigger Wall Street firms don’t want to anger companies that their investment banking units are trying to do business with—namely for merger advisory work and underwriting stock and bond offerings.”
The article also reports, however, that analysts have “less favorable ratings on stocks that have pulled back in 2018 or over the past year.”