Marcial: Bullish on Merrill Lynch? No

The prospect of additional writedowns could send the investment bank's shares lower

Take your pick: dump Lehman Brothers (LEH), or Merrill Lynch (MER)? While Lehman's free fall on Sept. 9 (BusinessWeek.com, 9/9/08) seized the market's attention, some big investors have decided to jettison Merrill's shares, too. Why? They say with additional writedowns expected from the investment bank, its stock, now at 25.15 a share, looks more vulnerable to downswings than Lehman's, which hit a new 52-week low, at 8.59 a share. Just a week ago shares of Lehman traded at more than 16, tumbling from a 52-week peak of 66 on Feb. 1.

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