Iran is sending a monkey into outer space
. China just landed on the moon
. And Spotify scaled its Stairway to Heaven
. So why are stocks earthbound all of a sudden? US markets slumped for a second straight week and, in an extremely unusual development, the Dow Average
(INDEXDJX:.DJI) and S&P 500 Index
(INDEXSP:.INX) each dropped an identical 1.65%. Sympathy pains? Perhaps, but you won’t find freshly-empathetic Facebook
(NASDAQ:FB) complaining after it jumped 11.22%. Herbalife
(NYSE:HLF), accused of being a pyramid scheme by Bill Ackman, cooled off 6.2% as snow spectacularly arrived on the Nile
. Lawrence of Arabia, memorably played by the dearly departed Peter O’Toole, once said
, “There may be honor among thieves, but there’s none in politicians.” This in a week when DC actually agreed on a budget deal, while convicted felon Martha Stewart
(NYSE:MSO) saw her stock surge 22.86%. And in this, the season of comfort and joy, Pfizer
(NYSE:PFE) was named the happiest company in America
. Though the poll was taken before its stock fell 4.1% in five days.
It's a relatively quiet day for quarterly earnings announcements that may move US stock markets, but FuelCell Energy
(NASDAQ:FCEL) and L&L Energy
(NASDAQ:LLEN) each release results.
(NASDAQ:AVEO): Shares are downgraded to Underperform from Perform at RBC Capital, which takes its target price to $2 from $5. The broker believes shares are likely to be range-bound, awaiting additional data on its tivozanib Phase II.
(NYSE:CNW): Deutsche Bank cuts Con-way to Hold from Buy. Its amended price objective is $45.
(NASDAQ:JAZZ): The stock is now Neutral from Buy at Goldman Sachs.
(NASDAQ:LEAP): Barclays lowers Leap Wireless stock to Equal Weight from Overweight although its objective, at $17, remains intact.
(NYSE:MRO): MOR gets moved to Neutral from Buy at Goldman Sachs.
(NYSE:NAV): Amid a more balanced imminent risk/reward ratio, Robert W. Baird reduces its rating to Neutral from Outperform.
(NYSE:NLSN): Nielsen, an audience measurement outfit famous for its eponymous TV ratings, sees its stock taken to Perform from Outperform by BMO Capital Markets.
(NYSE:PNC): Shares get downgraded to Equal Weight from Overweight at Evercore, whose new target is $81.
Royal Bank of Scotland
(RBS): UBS adds its fellow financial firm to its Least Preferred list.
: Citing systemic personal computer industry changes, Oppenheimer inflicts rating reductions on Advanced Micro Devices
(NYSE:AMD) (Underperform from Perform), Broadcom
(NASDAQ:BRCM) (to Perform from Outperform), and Cirrus Logic
(NASDAQ:CRUS) (Underperform from Perform). As a result, the stocks are lower ahead of this morning’s opening bell.
(NASDAQ:SBUX): Shares are slashed to Equal Weight from Overweight at Stephens.
(NYSE:TWTR): Back to reality for Twitter stock, which last week rose 31.26% to a record high. It is downgraded by both SunTrust Robinson Humphrey (Neutral from Buy), and Wells Fargo (Underperform from Market Perform.) Accordingly, the stock is currently slumping about 1.60% as I pen this piece.
(See also: Stock Upgrades: Monster Beverage, Barbarian at the Gate of Your Portfolio, Begs to Be Let In
and New Stock Coverage: Manpower Can Lift Mr. Market
No positions in stocks mentioned.
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