While Fools should generally take the opinion of Wall Street with a grain of salt, it's not a bad idea to take a closer look at particularly stock-shaking upgrades and downgrades -- just in case their reasoning behind the call makes sense.

What: Shares of Halliburton (NYSE: HAL) traded sluggishly in pre-market trading today after Wells Fargo downgraded the oil services giant from outperform to market perform.

So what: Along with the downgrade, analyst Matthew Conlan planted a price target of $57, representing just 3% worth of upside to Friday's close. While momentum traders might be attracted to the stock's strong surge over the past month, Conlan thinks much of Halliburton's growth prospects are now baked well into the valuation.

Now what: According to Wells, Halliburton's risk/reward trade-off isn't too attractive at this point. "As HAL is now approaching our $56-58 valuation range, we are downgrading the stock to Market Perform from Outperform," noted Conlan. "We are making no changes to our current estimates of $4.02/$5.02 for 2014/2015. The stock is now trading at 7.3x 2014E EBITDA, above its 5-year average of 6.5x next twelve months EBITDA."

When you couple that seemingly stretched valuation with Halliburton's sensitivity to volatile energy prices, it's easy to understand Wells' cautious stance.

More compelling energy picks
Record oil and natural gas production is revolutionizing the United States' energy position. Finding the right plays while historic amounts of capital expenditures are flooding the industry will pad your investment nest egg. For this reason, the Motley Fool is offering a comprehensive look at three energy companies set to soar during this transformation in the energy industry. To find out which three companies are spreading their wings, check out the special free report, "3 Stocks for the American Energy Bonanza." Don't miss out on this timely opportunity; click here to access your report -- it's absolutely free. 

Brian Pacampara has no position in any stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool recommends Halliburton. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.