Moody's Eyes Banks, Nestle Sees Tough 2012: Hot Trends

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Popular searches on the Internet include Moody's as the ratings agency is examining the long-term ratings of 17 global banks and securities firms.

Moody's is reviewing the institutions' long-term ratings and credit assessments as the agency said capital markets' firms are confronting evolving challenges. Moody's may cut the credit ratings of UBS ( UBS), Credit Suisse ( CS) and Morgan Stanley ( MS) by up to three levels following the review, saying the guidance was "indicative." Goldman Sachs ( GS), Deutsche Bank ( DB), JP Morgan Chase ( JPM) and Citigroup ( C) are among the banks that may be downgraded by two levels.

Moody's also is reviewing 114 European financial institutions from 16 nations, whose ratings will depend on the impact the eurozone debt crisis has had on their creditworthiness.

Nestle is a hot topic as the company reported better-than-expected sales growth, boosted by sales in North America, but said it expects a tough 2012 as it anticipates consumers will cut back on spending.

The company reported a drop in 2011 net profit to 9.49 billion Swiss francs ($10.27 billion), beating forecasts, but below 2010 earnings of 34.23 billion francs.

The company said while North America did contribute to higher-than-expected sales, it believes the region will remain subdued this year.

French luxury and retail group PPR is trending as remains confident about growth in 2012 despite slowing fourth-quarter revenue at its Gucci luxury brand.

The group, which posted slightly higher-than-expected profit for 2011, expanded its executive board Thursday to include the heads of Gucci, Bottega Veneta and Puma, emphasizing its focus on luxury brands. PPR posted recurring full-year operating income of €1.6 billion ($2.09 billion), compared to 1.37 billion a year before.

The company said 2012 is off to a good start, with January off to a slightly better start than the fourth quarter, but PPR didn't give a precise outlook for the year. The company did say it expects results to improve.

The chatter on Main Street (a.k.a. Google, Yahoo! and other search sites) is always of interest to investors on Wall Street. Thus, each day, TheStreet compiles the stories that are trending on the Web, and highlights the news that could make stocks move.

-- Written by Brittany Umar.
Brittany joined TV in November 2006 after completing a degree in Journalism and Media Studies at Rutgers College. Previously, Brittany interned at the local ABC affiliate in New York City WABC-TV 7 where she helped research and produce On Your Side, a popular consumer advocacy segment.