Despite the approaching “fiscal cliff,” analysts made few changes to their outlooks in terms of ratings and target prices for S&P 500 companies during the month of November. There was actually a slight uptick in both the percentage of Buy ratings (to 50.0% from 49.5%) and the bottom-up target price (to 1602.89 from 1600.19) over this time frame.
It is interesting to note that the industry that recorded the largest increase in the number of Sell ratings over the past two months is the Aerospace & Defense industry, which is an industry that will be directly impacted by fiscal policy negotiations taking place in Washington. Over this time frame, the number of Sell ratings for the industry jumped to 17 today from 13 on September 30. However, the overall percentage of Sell ratings for this industry only increased to 7% from 5%. Despite the increase in Sell ratings, over 50% of the ratings on companies in the Aerospace & Defense industry are Buy ratings as of November 30.