Goldman Sachs Pans Financials (FNM, FRE, MI, JPM, BSC, LEH, MER, WM)

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Goldman Sachs has made some key downgrades in the financial sector today.  The firm has cut both Fannie Mae (NYSE: FNM) and Freddie mac (NYSE: FRE) from an already "neutral" rating, with implied negative, down to the loathed "SELL" rating.

It has also removed it rating on Marshall & Ilsley (NYSE: MI) down to a Neutral from a Buy rating. 

Goldman Sachs has also lowered estimates on Bear Stearns (NYSE: BSC), J.P.Morgan Chase (NYSE: JPM), Lehman Brothers (NYSE: LEH), Merrill Lynch (NYSE: MER), Morgan Stanley (NYSE: MS), and Washington Mutual (NYSE: WM).  Others were hit as well, but these are the major calls.

The firm wants investors to stay defensive regardless of bailout pacts.  It believes that Freddie mac is a short ahead of earnings this week and believes you can own a Put Spread in Wa-Mu.

Jon C. Ogg
February 25, 2008