Merrill Says `Reduce' Equals `Sell'


Experienced member
Merrill Says `Reduce' Equals `Sell': Call of the Day
New York: Merrill Lynch & Co., the Wall Street firm with the most brokers and individual-investor clients, is telling its analysts that ``reduce'' and ``sell'' now signify the same
Merrill is combining the two ratings, which means ``sell'' may crop up more frequently in Merrill research: The firm now rates five U.S. stocks ``reduce,'' while it has no ``sell'' ratings, according to First Call/Thomson Financial.
The new policy comes less than a week after Wall Street's trade group recommended brokerages adopt new standards to improve analysts' accountability and reputations. Analysts are being criticized for failing to use ``sell'' recommendations for fear of angering current or potential investment banking clients.
``It's tokenism,'' Peter Trapp, who helps manage $250 million at Needham Asset Management, said of Merrill's change. ``The ratings you probably should have are `buy,' `sell' and `hold.''' (Bloomberg News)

High time they stopped beating around the bush if you ask me...

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