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Analysts are weighing in today on global retail giant Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. (NYSE:WMT), mining company Cliffs Natural Resources Inc (NYSE:CLF), and cloud computing concern Salesforce.com, inc. (NYSE:CRM). Here's a quick roundup of today's bearish brokerage notes.
- WMT fell 2.4% yesterday to close at $76.83 -- bringing the shares below their year-to-date flat line -- in the wake of yesterday morning's poorly received earnings results. Subsequently, the stock received a handful of bearish brokerage notes, including two price-target cuts to $83 from $84 and $85, at Goldman Sachs and Raymond James, respectively. In the options pits, speculators have upped the bearish ante on Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. in recent sessions. The stock's 10-day International Securities Exchange (ISE), Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE), and NASDAQ OMX PHLX (PHLX) put/call volume ratio of 1.58 ranks just 7 percentage points from a 12-month peak, indicating puts have been bought to open over calls at a near-annual-high clip during the past two weeks.
- Down 33.5% year-to-date to trade at $17.44, CLF saw its price target dropped to $17 from $18 at UBS in pre-market action. During the past 10 sessions, option traders have been making bearish bets over bullish at their fastest pace, compared to the past 12 months. This is evidenced by the fact that Cliffs Natural Resources Inc's 10-day ISE/CBOE/PHLX put/call volume ratio of 1.94 ranks higher than all similar readings taken during the past year.
- CRM -- which is preparing for its trip to the earnings confessional after the close on Tuesday, May 20 -- received a price-target cut to 55 from $65 at B. Riley today. Wedbush also weighed in, slashing its target to $57 from $63. Elsewhere, short-term option traders are particularly call-heavy on the stock, which has lost 18.1% over the past three months to trade at $51.42. Salesforce.com, inc.'s Schaeffer's put/call open interest ratio (SOIR) of 0.54 ranks lower than 97% of comparable readings from the past 12 months. This means call open interest (relative to put open interest) is nearing annual-high levels.