Schaeffer's Trading Floor Blog
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Analysts are weighing in today on automaker General Motors Company (NYSE:GM), steel producer United States Steel Corporation (NYSE:X), and beauty products retailer Ulta Salon, Cosmetics & Fragrance, Inc. (NASDAQ:ULTA). Here's a quick roundup of today's bearish brokerage notes.

  • UBS cut its price target on GM to $51 from $52, amid ongoing investigations into the company's recall practices. In fact, a safety watchdog group just concluded that 303 deaths were due to failed airbags in since-recalled GM cars. While the stock is down 17.3% year-to-date to trade at $33.79, analysts elsewhere have maintained their bullish stances, dishing out 11 "buy" or better endorsements, compared to just two "holds" and not a single "sell" suggestion. Plus, the average 12-month price target of $46.67 represents a significant premium to General Motors Company's current price. As such, the door is wide open for more downgrades and/or price-target cuts in the near term, which could pressure the shares further south.

  • X -- which has lost 17.3% since the start of 2014 to trade at $24.40 -- received a downgrade to "underperform" from "neutral" at Credit Suisse this morning. Elsewhere, investors have upped the bearish ante on United States Steel Corporation, as well. Short interest climbed nearly 30% over the last two reporting periods, now accounting for a lofty 25.7% of the stock's available float. It would take almost a week to cover these bearish bets, at the shares' average pace of trading.

  • ULTA received some bearish attention from the brokerage crew on Wall Street, despite last night's well-received fourth-quarter earnings report. Among the skeptics are Citigroup and Piper Jaffray, which cut their price targets to $118 from $123, and to $97 from $113, respectively. Leading into the quarterly announcement, Ulta Salon, Cosmetics & Fragrance, Inc. had been popular among option bulls. The equity's 10-day International Securities Exchange (ISE), Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE), and NASDAQ OMX PHLX (PHLX) call/put volume ratio of 2.21 ranks in the 84th annual percentile, indicating calls have been bought to open over puts at an accelerated pace during the past two weeks. Currently, ULTA shares are positioned 6% higher from last night's close of $89.51 ahead of today's opening bell.

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