Intel Stock Dips Again Following Latest Downgrade

Raymond James is cautious on the chip sector as a whole

Sep 25, 2018 at 10:16 AM
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Intel Corporation (NASDAQ:INTC) is under pressure today following a cautious note on the semiconductor sector out of Raymond James. The brokerage firm noted a "negative shift in sentiment" among those in the supply chain, adding that "several trends had clearly worsened." For INTC in particular, the firm sees a number of headwinds that could hurt profitability going forward, and thus lowered its rating on the stock to "underperform" from "market perform."

The Dow component has received a number of similar bear notes this year, with many analysts expecting rival Advanced Micro Devices (AMD) to take market share from the company. Overall, most analysts are already skeptical, with 17 "hold" or worse ratings on the books, compared to just 11 "buy" or better endorsements.

The stock has given analysts good reason to be bearish, too. The shares have been in a series of lower highs and lows since their June peak of $57.60, with the 50-day moving average stiffly blocking a breakout attempt back in late July. Moreover, the equity hasn't closed above its 10-week moving average since early June. So far today, INTC has shed 2% to trade at $45.97.

Some options traders could be betting on more downside amid this weakness, with put volume outpacing call volume in early trading -- a setup that goes against what's normally seen from Intel options traders. In fact, the put/call volume ratio today of 1.35 is pacing for the 96th annual percentile, further confirming the unusual put-skew that's occurring so far today.

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