Is Prudential Securities a bull market indicator? A year ago, the brokerage division of Prudential Financial ( PRU - Get Report) was one of the more bearish outfits on Wall Street. Its 54 analysts had "sell" recommendations on 6% of the stocks they covered -- well above the Street's overall sell rating on just 1% of stocks. Since then, however, the Dow Jones Industrial Average has fallen 14%, the S&P 500 is off 20% and the Nasdaq Composite is off 26%. But with doom and gloom pervading every corner of the market and a growing number of Wall Street analysts discovering the word "sell" in their dictionaries, Prudential analysts are sounding a lot less pessimistic on stocks -- even if they aren't outright bulls either. Prudential's analysts currently list just 11 stocks, or 2% of the 500 companies they cover, as ones to sell.
the number of bearish analysts is mushrooming on Wall Street as brokerages begin to comply with a new Securities and Exchange Commission regulation that requires them to essentially lists stocks as either a buy, hold or sell -- or some other three-tiered variant that's easily decipherable by average investors. So is this a case where the folks at Prudential see something in the market's future that the rest of the Street is missing? Perhaps.