Anheuser-Busch has had its recommendation downgraded. Morgan Stanley has downgraded the brewer to "equal weight" from "overweight," on the belief that volumes continued to be weak in December in spite of improved weather and consumer sentiment and a downturn in low-carbohydrate diets.

In a note to clients, analyst William Pecoriello said: "We believe the beer category continues to suffer from wine and spirits gains, helped by strong retailer support over the holidays, as well as low-income consumer weakness.

"The real risk of continued weak volume growth is that the brewers will look to scale back price increases or become more price promotional next year."