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Ratings Roundup: Amazon, Citi Up; BofA, U.S. Steel Down

Investment rating changes were mixed for financial stocks on Wednesday, while Amazon received an upgrade despite persistent concerns about future consumer spending.

Amazon was added to UBS's “most preferred” list in a report released Wednedsay. The report noted that e-commerce’s share of discretionary spending is growing faster than spending at brick-and-mortar stores, particularly among lower-income consumers.

UBS also upgraded Citigroup to “most preferred”, saying that as long as they’re “not facing questions about its capital position, we believe it should trade at a higher multiple.”

Among other investment ratings changes Wednesday:

  • Nasdaq OMX Group was upgraded to "buy" from "neutral" at UBS, which said its shares are trading at a deep discount.
  • Crude oil refinery Tesoro was upgraded to "buy" from "sell" by Benchmark Co.
  • Newmont Mining was upgraded to "market perform" from "underperform" at RBC Capital.
  • Saks was upgraded to "neutral" from "underperform" at Credit Suisse, based on valuation.

Downgrades included:

  • Abbott Labs was downgraded to "market perform" from "outperform" at Morgan Keegan.
  • U.S. Steel was downgraded to "equal-weight" from "overweight" at Morgan Stanley.
  • Bank of America was downgraded to "least preferred" by UBS, with the report saying "if questions persist around the company's capital position, the firm may have no choice but to raise capital."

WATCH:UBS analyst Chris Ahrens offers insight on why financial stocks are in retreat.

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Disclosures:

UBS or a related company played a role in the underwriting or placement of securities, or provided investment banking or other services to one or more of the companies mentioned within the past 12 months. Disclosure information was not available for other companies.

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