Monster Worldwide was slapped with a downgrade this morning at Wachovia Securities, which dropped the shares from outperform to market perform. The brokerage firm cited recent evidence of a slowdown in its North America Careers division. Wachovia told clients it believes the deceleration is likely due to increased competition and transition issues in the sales force. Wachovia said that while it still views Monster as a premier online brand, it thinks the stock could be range-bound until positive signals related to the restructuring become evident.

Since mid-August, the shares of MNST have sidled between resistance at the 36 level and support in the 32 area. The stock was halted yesterday just below 36 and is currently down more than 2% in electronic trading. On the other hand, the equity is above resistance at its 10-week moving average, a trendline it has not finished a week above since the beginning of June.

Options players have grown more optimistic toward the security. Schaeffer's put/call open interest ratio for MNST has dropped from 0.93 on September 24 to its current perch of 0.74.