Stock Downgrades: Home Depot Has Hit a Ceiling

By Justin Sharon  NOV 14, 2012 9:25 AM

Wall Street ratings agencies set the tone for today's stock market.


MINYANVILLE ORIGINAL Retail earnings continued to impress, with Staples (SPLS) and Dick’s Sporting Goods (DKS) — two-thirds of the most unwittingly funny billboard in America — particularly prominent. The former gained 1.44%, and is up another 4.89% before the bell, while the latter rose 4.66% after exceeding earnings expectations. Semiconductor stock Advanced Micro Devices (AMD) climbed 5.03% and chips of another sort proved profitable for Diamond Foods (DMND), with the maker of Kettle snacks surging 14.45%. (Another type of diamonds of another didn’t do too badly either.)
Meanwhile Microsoft (MSFT) plunged 3.22%, making it the single worst Dow (^DJI) stock for a second straight day. The firm was famously founded by a college dropout, but maybe Mr. Gates would have been better off listening to the iconic advice given to a Graduate after Berry Plastics (BERY) rode a ratings increase to tack on 1.95%.
Today in economics, September business inventories are out at 10:00 a.m. Eastern, and we get minutes to the Federal Open Market Committee’s October 23 meeting at 2:00 p.m. In earnings action, Abercrombie & Fitch (ANF), Limited Brands (LTD), Mitsubishi UFJ Financial (MTU), NetApp (NTAP), PetSmart (PETM), Staples (SPLS), Tyco International (TYC), and Williams-Sonoma (WSM) are all due to report results.
Barrick Gold (ABX): The commodity company is cut to Hold from Buy at Argus, whose concerns include Q3 earnings and a weaker outlook.
Barclays (BCS): Liberum Capital lowers the British bank to Hold from Buy.
Edwards Lifesciences (EW): Shares are slashed to Sell from Neutral at UBS, which lowers its target to $80 from $95.
E.ON (EONGY): The German energy giant gets downgraded to Underperform by BNP Paribas, to Hold at Deutsche Bank, to Neutral at Nomura, and to Hold at Société Générale.
Fertilizer StocksMosaic (MOS) and Potash (POT) each get cut to Hold from Buy at Canaccord Genuity.
Hi-Crush Partners (HCLP): Shares are now Neutral from Outperform at Robert W. Baird due to a supply disagreement with 20% customer Baker Hughes (BHI).
Home Depot (NYSE:HD): Yesterday’s high flyer is moved to Market Perform from Outperform at Raymond James due to valuation.
IAMGOLD (IAG): Shares are now Neutral from Buy at Macquarie.
J.C Penney (NYSE:JCP): The slumping stock is downgraded to Neutral from Overweight at JPMorgan.
Northern Tier Energy (NTI): NTU is taken to Hold from Buy at Deutsche Bank.
Siemens (SI): Saying that restructuring benefits may already be baked into the share price, RBC Capital cuts the German conglomerate to Sector Perform from Outperform.

(See also: Stock Upgrades: Cisco on a Route to Riches and New Stock Coverage: Time to Gamble on Chinese Casino Companies?)
No positions in stocks mentioned.

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