The New York Times examined on Monday the perpetual optimism of stock analysts.
At the top of the market, they urged investors to buy or hold onto stocks about 95 percent of the time. When stocks stumbled, they stayed optimistic. Even in November, when credit froze, the economy stalled and financial markets tumbled to their lowest levels in a decade, analysts as a group rarely said sell.
And last month, as the Dow and Standard & Poor's 500-stock index suffered their worst January ever, analysts put a sell rating on a mere 5.9 percent of stocks, according to Bloomberg data. Many companies have taken such a beating in the downturn, analysts argue, that their shares are bound to bounce back.
CNBC followed up with a discussion on the topic. Charles Gasparino, ever the blunt commentator, advised investors "to be suspect of stock analysts... Wall Street is laden with conflicts."