Barrick Sees Stifel Downgrade to Hold and 2 Other Hot Stocks To Watch

Barrick Gold Corp. (NYSE:ABX): Current price $14.06

Barrick shares are up 2.25 percent in late morning trading, but Stifel Nicolaus seems to think that the stock is in for worse times: Analyst George Topping lowered his rating on the stock from Buy to Hold. Topping wrote that the downgrade comes as Barrick is highly levered to gold prices, and he is thus reducing his short-term price assumptions. The firm’s high debt levels – about $12 billion in net debt – make it more susceptible to weaker gold prices than its peers, according to the analyst.

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Wells Fargo & Co. (NYSE:WFC): Current price $42.49

Wells Fargo shares are down modestly Tuesday on heavy trading. Susquehanna downgraded the stock to Neutral from Positive due to relative outperformance. However, the ratings firm maintains its price target at $45.

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Bank of America Corp. (NYSE:BAC): Current price $13.43

Bank of America Merrill Lynch will serve as joint bookrunner in an initial public offering of 360-year-old Royal Mail Group Ltd., which U.K. Business Secretary Vince Cable is expected to announce Wednesday. A source told Bloomberg that 10 percent of the shares will be given to staff, and that Cable will probably outline the plans to Parliament on Wednesday afternoon. The sale of Royal Mail will represent the biggest privatization in the U.K. since former Prime Minister John Major broke up the nation’s railway in the 1990s.

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