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Carnival stock tumbles on concerns about sluggish August cruise bookings

Carnival Corp. shares tumbled more than 5% Friday, after Morgan Stanley downgraded the stock to underweight from equal weight on concerns that August booking trends were subdued.

August is typically one of the stronger months for cruise bookings, but Morgan Stanley’s U.S. travel-agent panel reported neutral to negative volume trends.

“Although the Caribbean and in particular Alaska enjoyed a strong summer, booking momentum for the rest of 2016 and 2017 seems to have slowed somewhat,” analysts led by Jamie Rollo wrote in a note. “Almost universally, the panel mentioned falling rates, growing promotions, and rising agent incentives, which given sluggish volumes likely indicate general demand weakness rather than operators attempting to build a base of business.

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