I was wondering what percent of stocks are rated as a buy by the sell-side analysts and if they really mean anything. I feel like there sometimes can be a conflict of interest if the company does work with the firm that the analyst works at.

It seems fishy to me especially since during the fall of MoviePass (HMNY), sell-side guys gave it a buy rating while the buy side knew it was going to tank.

1 Answer 1


Analysts have relationships with company executives, giving them the ability to line up private meetings for large clients. Much of their pay comes as a result of this corporate access and therefore, they avoid sell ratings so they can maintain those relationships.

About 5% of analyst recommendations on S&P 500 stocks are on the sell side, varying modestly year to year. This was true even in the years surrounding during the Internet Bubble in 2000 and the Global Financial crisis in 2008. Some brokers even avoid using the word 'sell' and in turn say underweight.

  • You just answered the fraction of the question that was on topic. Nicely done. I will encourage OP to edit out the part that veers off topic. Jul 22, 2019 at 14:58
  • Thanks Joe. I answered the part of the question that I know a little bit about and when it comes to HMNY, it's nothing. Jul 22, 2019 at 15:07
  • @JoeTaxpayer Which part veers off topic? Ill edit it out right away. Thanks Jul 22, 2019 at 16:32
  • I would just delete the last paragraph. Asking for a link to a reference like that is pretty off-topic. Jul 22, 2019 at 16:35
  • I can't source it but some time ago I came across a chart that graphed what percent of stocks have sell signals on them, by year. It might have been S&P 500 stocks but I don't remember. Jul 22, 2019 at 17:22

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