The broad indexes ended mixed, after the HSBC Flash China manufacturing purchasing managers' index showed that manufacturing activity in China declined for the 11th straight month in September, with reading of 47.8. The reading increased from 47.6 in August, but remained below 50, which is the level between expansion and contraction.
HSBC chief economist for China Hongbin Qu said that "China's manufacturing growth is still slowing, but the pace of slowdown is stabilizing." The economist also said that "manufacturing activities remain lackluster, thanks to weak new business flows and a longer than expected destocking process," which has "prompted Beijing to step up easing over the past weeks," which "should be working to lead to a modest improvement from 4Q onwards."
Also on Thursday, Markit Economics said that the eurozone composite PMI, which includes data points on both the manufacturing and services sectors, declined to 45.9 from 46.3 in August, for the index's lowest level since June 2009.The KBW Bank Index (I:BKX) was down 1% to close at 50.46, with all but two of the 24 index components showing declines for the session. Morgan Stanley's shares have now returned 15% year-to-date, following a 44% decline during 2011. The shares trade for 0.6 times their reported June 30 tangible book value of $31.02, and for nine times the consensus 2013 EPS estimate of $1.95, among analysts polled by Thomson Reuters. The consensus 2012 EPS estimate is 91 cents. UBS analyst Brennan Hawken on Thursday downgraded Morgan Stanley (MS) to a "Neutral" rating from a "Buy" rating, while maintaining his price target of $19.00. Hawken estimates that Morgan Stanley will earn a dollar a share for 2012, increasing to earnings of $2.10 a share in 2013. The analyst said that "MS has made a number of strategic missteps in recent years and has struggled to generate optimal returns for shareholders... as a result, the stock has struggled relative to its peers, and become a 'show me' story."
Select the service that is right for you!COMPARE ALL SERVICES
- $2.5+ million portfolio
- Large-cap and dividend focus
- Intraday trade alerts from Cramer
- Weekly roundups
Access the tool that DOMINATES the Russell 2000 and the S&P 500.
- Buy, hold, or sell recommendations for over 4,300 stocks
- Unlimited research reports on your favorite stocks
- A custom stock screener
- Upgrade/downgrade alerts
- Diversified model portfolio of dividend stocks
- Alerts when market news affect the portfolio
- Bi-weekly updates with exact steps to take - BUY, HOLD, SELL
- Real Money + Doug Kass + 15 more Wall Street Pros
- Intraday commentary & news
- Ultra-actionable trading ideas
- 100+ monthly options trading ideas
- Actionable options commentary & news
- Real-time trading community
- Options TV