Why concern yourself with the fiscal cliff when it’s far easier to simply fall off McGraw-Hill
(MHP)? Shares suffered their steepest slide since our cliff crisis of late last year after the ratings agency skidded 13.78% in its single worst day since October 1987. The firm is handsomely paid to act as a financial gatekeeper but, as the saying goes, “who will guard the guards?” (Actually, the original Latin is, "Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?"
but with Italian markets having imploded 4.5% on Monday, it’s best to spare our continental cousins the cost of any $10 words.)
(GCI), whose Captivate Network pipes information into office lobby elevators, lost 6.70%, and now it can’t even enjoy the mood muzak
. Apple Inc. (AAPL), where employees lived in fear of being fired in lifts
, tumbled another 2.49% but at least United Technologies
(UTX), owner of Otis, hit a multi-year high. And Mercedes-Benz owner Daimler
(PINK:DDAIF) dropped -4.14%. Embarrassing, especially for one unfortunate fan who just found they paved paradise and put up a parking lot
Today in economics, a slight slippage is seen in the Institute for Supply Management’s January non-manufacturing index at 10:00 a.m. Eastern. In earnings action, Archer Daniels Midland
(ADM), BP Plc
(BP), Estée Lauder
(K), NYSE Euronext
, Sirius XM Radio
(SIRI), Take-Two Interactive Software
(TTWO), Toyota Motor
(TM), UBS AG
(UBS), Walt Disney
(DIS), and Zynga
(ZNGA) are all due to report results.
Alon USA Energy
(ALJ): ALJ gets downgraded to Neutral from Buy at Goldman Sachs.
American Science & Engineering
(ASEI): Troubled by soft bookings due to government delays, Benchmark Company reduces its rating to Hold from Buy. Its target price is $65.
(BIDU): Shares in the Chinese Internet outfit are now Hold from Buy at Stifel Nicolaus, which highlights headwinds including increased investment spending and attendant pressure on margins.
(BPO): The stock is slashed to Sell from Hold at Stifel Nicolaus, which says there are simply too many unknowns at this point.
(CIT): CIT is cut to Neutral from Buy at Nomura.
(STZ): Citing uncertainty surrounding the Department of Justice’s lawsuit, Stifel Nicolaus slashes the winemaker to Hold from Buy.
(GILD): GILD gets downgraded to Neutral from Overweight at Atlantic Equities.
: Barclays reduces Ryland Group
(RYL) and Toll Brothers
(TOL) to Underweight from Equal Weight and takes PulteGroup
(PHM) and KB Home
(KBH) to Equal Weight from Overweight.
(KSS): KSS is cut to to Neutral from Buy at Citigroup.
(BPOP): The bank stock is moved to Equal-Weight from Overweight at Morgan Stanley.
(ZQK): Shares are trading lower today after getting cut to Neutral from Buy at B. Riley Caris, whose target price on the retailer is now $6.70.
Real Estate Investment Trusts
(AVB) and Equity Residential
(EQR) are each reduced to Hold from Buy at Jefferies.
(RCL): Raymond James cuts the cruise company to Perform from Outperform.
(SGMS): Deutsche Bank slashes SGMS to Sell from Hold.
(STT): STT gets taken to Neutral from Buy at Guggenheim.
(SYK): The medical device maker is moved to Neutral from Buy at UBS.
(YUM): The fast food firm, falling 5.58% to a fresh 52-week low before the opening bell, is now Neutral from Outperform with an amended $72 price objective at Robert W. Baird. The chief concern is an increasingly uncertain near-term outlook in China.
(See also: New Stock Coverage: Intel Only Semiconscious
and Stock Upgrades: Miracle on 34th Street for Macy’s
No positions in stocks mentioned.
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