With the end of the first quarter approaching, where are analysts most optimistic and pessimistic in terms of their ratings on stocks in the S&P 500?
How have analysts’ views changed over the past few months? Overall, there are 11,021 ratings on stocks in the S&P 500. Of these 11,021 ratings, 53.6% are Buy ratings, 40.3% are Hold ratings, and 6.0% are Sell ratings.
At the sector level, analysts are most optimistic on the Energy (67%), Health Care (60%), and Communication Services (59%) sectors, as these three sectors have the highest percentages of Buy ratings. It is interesting to note that the Energy sector is projected to report the largest earnings decline (-12.6%) of all 11 sectors in CY 2019. On the other hand, analysts are most pessimistic about the Consumer Staples (40%), Utilities (43%), and Real Estate (45%) sectors, as these three sectors have the lowest percentages of Buy ratings.
Since December 31, the total number of ratings on S&P 500 companies has decreased by 0.8% (to 11,021 from 11,112). The number of Buy ratings has decreased by 3.2% (to 5,911 from 6,107). Nine sectors have witnessed a decrease in Buy ratings, led by the Utilities (-11%) sector.