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Analysts are weighing in today on tech master Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL), oil and gas issue Halliburton Company (NYSE:HAL), and grocery chain Whole Foods Market, Inc. (NASDAQ:WFM). Here's a quick roundup of today's bearish brokerage notes.
- AAPL's iPhone sales for the fiscal first quarter and current-quarter revenue forecast did not sit well with the brokerage bunch. This morning, Raymond James downgraded the stock to "outperform" from "strong buy," and lowered its price target to $550 from $700, while Oppenheimer cut its rating to "perform" from "outperform." Over a dozen other brokerage firms downwardly adjusted their price targets on Apple Inc., as well, including Citigroup, Goldman Sachs, and J.P. Morgan Securities. Heading into the scheduled announcement, the stock boasted 28 "buy" or better recommendations and seven "hold" ratings, plus an average 12-month price target of $598.88. Meanwhile, on the technical front, AAPL shares have plunged 7.5% right out of the gate today to trade at $509.00.
- HAL -- which has shed more than 4% over the past five days to trade at $48.49 -- saw its price target cut to $50 from $55 at Guggenheim this morning. In the options pits, Halliburton Company sports a Schaeffer's put/call open interest ratio (SOIR) of 0.50, ranking just 2 percentage points from a 12-month low. In other words, short-term option traders have rarely been more call-heavy toward the equity over the past year.
- Sterne Agee dropped its price target on WFM to $61 from $68 earlier today. Already in 2014, the equity has lost 11.5% to trade at $51.19. Still, the stock boasts a SOIR of 0.66, which ranks lower than 91% of comparable readings from the past year, with short-term option traders focusing primarily on calls over puts right now.