Four-day workweeks, so popular in Europe, proved less successful here as stocks posted their first weekly decline of the year. (Although any investors long La-Z-Boy
(LZB), which surged some 16.93% in the 72 hours after Presidents’ Day, were sitting pretty.) Greece’s main market, down 4.31%, was the worst on the continent with investors quite literally
worrying, “Après Athens, le deluge.” At least Rexam
(PINK:REXMY), Europe’s largest maker of beverage cans, surged 7.3% in preparation for yet another round of economic can-kicking across the Atlantic.
We lost one of the Staple Sisters
(SPLS) stock is no longer going for a song, increasing 2.5% on merger activity in its industry. “That was easy” is its slogan, yet a botched corporate marriage
by two competitors suggests amalgamation is anything but. And with Downton Abbey
over for another year, America’s largest luxury homebuilder Toll Brothers
(TOL) slid 6.7%. In a week we learned that a woman living in a humble $90,000 apartment died with $27 million
, luxury is overrated anyway.
No top-tier economic data due today, but earnings announcements are expected out of Autodesk
(ADSK), Caesars Entertainment
(CZR), 3D Systems
(PSO), and URS Corporation
(ABAX): Bank of America-Merrill Lynch moves the maker of diagnostic tests to Underperform from Neutral.
(ALU): The telecom stock gets taken to Underweight from Neutral at HSBC Securities.
(AFFY): Robert W. Baird is one of many firms reducing its recommendation today, taking it to Neutral from Outperform and slashing its price objective to $4 from $30. The drugmaker is suspending marketing and distribution of Omontys after five patient deaths. Shares are sliding some 70%-plus before this morning’s opening bell.
(BRY): The oil outfit is slashed to Neutral from Buy at Susquehanna.
(NASDAQ:PLCE): The company is cut to Neutral from Buy at Janney, which also trims its target price by $10 to $49 from $59. Concerns include pressures on the lower-end consumer and a highly competitive industry that is seeing substantial sector-wide discounting.
: Ascena Retail Group
(ASNA), formerly known as Dress Barn, and Aéropostale
(ARO) are each moved to Hold from Buy at KeyBanc Capital Markets.
(CBSH): Raymond James reduces its rating to Underperform from Perform.
(ENDP): Shares are downgraded to Underweight from Equal Weight at Piper Jaffray.
(HNZ): Citigroup cuts the condiment king to Neutral from Buy.
(NBL): Goldman Sachs pulls the name from its Conviction Buy list.
(OC): Troubled by limited earnings visibility, Wells Fargo takes the building materials firm to Market Perform from Outperform.
Teekay LNG Partners
(TGP): Raymond James reduces its rating to Outperform from Strong Buy.
(TEVA): Argus takes TEVA to Hold from Buy amid Copaxone competition and a lack of overall catalysts.
(TDW): The energy outfit gets downgraded to Neutral from Buy at ISI Group.
(WPZ): Global Hunter takes the stock to Accumulate from Buy with a $54 target after the limited partnership issued lower earnings guidance.
No positions in stocks mentioned.
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