Back in mid-February we noted that there had not been a single trading day so far this year where there were more analyst upgrades than downgrades. Shortly after, we finally did see a day where upgrades exceeded downgrades (2/23). Even since then, however, most days have still continued to see more downgrades than upgrades.
The chart below shows the net daily number of analyst upgrades so far this year. Through today, upgrades have exceeded downgrades on only nine out of the 55 trading days in 2012. It is strange enough that analysts started off the year on such a down note. Normally, a new year brings analyst optimism where outlooks on the year ahead are bullish. This year, that wasn't the case. What makes this pessimism even more peculiar is the fact that it came in a year where equities are off to one of their best starts ever.