Morgan Stanley: Buy energy call is a 'nightmare'

Adam Jeffery | CNBC

Morgan Stanley issued a mea culpa Monday on an energy call made earlier this year, advising clients to cut losses and move on.

"We made a really bad call by going overweight energy at the beginning of this year," Morgan Stanley's equity strategist, Adam Parker, wrote in a research note this week.

"While the sector rallied in February and March in anticipation of achievable estimates in April, the sector has lagged massively since because of stronger-than-expected supply. The valuation argument only works with a dream of a much higher oil price in the future, and that dream has been a bit of a nightmare," he described.

As a result, Parker downgraded the energy group to market weight from overweight, arguing that the lack of near-term catalysts will continue to pressure the sector.

In the past year, WTI Crude oil prices plunged 53 percent on oversupply concerns as new technology facilitates the extraction of oil in the U.S. and other oil producers like Saudi Arabia continue to ramp up their quotas.

"Our original thesis when we went overweight the energy sector at the beginning of the year was that they were cyclical stocks that were down a lot, you had to be anticipatory and the valuation was compelling," said Parker.

Here's what the investment bank is telling clients to buy instead: