Morgan Stanley Stock Faces Headwinds, Says Analyst

Oppenheimer cut its price target as well

Deputy Editor
Oct 5, 2022 at 8:59 AM
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Morgan Stanley (NYSE:MS) stock is down 1.8% to trade at $82.50 before the bell, after Atlantic Equities downgraded the banking giant to "neutral" from "overweight." The analyst also cut its price target to $85 from $95, citing decreased investment banking activity, a pullback in equity markets, trading estimates that they feel "remain too optimistic," and a lack of near-term positive catalysts. In addition, Oppenheimer also cut its price target from $99 to $93.

There's plenty of room for even more brokerages to move in with bear notes as well. Coming into today, eight covering firms still rated Morgan Stanley stock a "strong buy," and the 12-month consensus target price of $94.87 is a 14.8% premium to last night's close. 

The options pits have flashed a penchant for bearish bets in recent weeks. Data at the International Securities Exchange (ISE), Cboe Options Exchange (CBOE), and NASDAQ OMX PHLX (PHLX) shows the MS sports a 50-day put/call volume ratio of 1.11, which stands higher than 98% of readings from the past year. This means puts are not only outpacing calls, but they've also been getting picked up at a quicker-than-usual clip.

It's worth noting that Morgan Stanley stock ranks low on the Schaeffer's Volatility Scorecard (SVS), with a score of just 13 out of 100. In other words, the security has consistently realized lower volatility than its options have priced in, making the stock a potential premium-selling candidate.

On the charts, Morgan Stanley stock's 320-day moving average rejected a mid-August rally just above the $92 level. By mid-September, this tumble sent the shares below the $84 mark and the 60-day trendline, the latter of which capped yesterday's 4.5% gain. As such, MS stands 14.5% lower year-to-date.

 

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