Stock Downgrades: Even Cisco Systems Isn't Immune to Tech Wreck

By Justin Sharon  APR 08, 2014 9:24 AM

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

 


Mo Money, Mo Problems
-- Notorious B.I.G. (1997)
 
Moscow and momentum left Mr. Market with a mountain to climb, despite the best efforts of Moore's Law. Ongoing turmoil in Red Square, and another 1.62% implosion in erstwhile highflier Amazon.com (NASDAQ:AMZN) -- which went public to the tune of our aforementioned rapper -- sent the Nasdaq (INDEXNASDAQ:.IXIC) on its worst three-session skid since 2011. (Back then it was the USA, and not the USSR, that was downgraded, so let's be grateful for small mercies.) At least Intel (NASDAQ:INTC), up 1.24% on a broker boost to best all blue chips, bucked the malaise. Amazon clearly can't recapture its salad days of 17 years ago, an ancient era when Derek Jeter and Bill Clinton still hogged headlines. Procter & Gamble (NYSE:PG) did try its best to relive the '90s boom -- the 1890s in its case. Shares rose 0.90% after announcing a dividend for the 124th consecutive year. Benefiting from a similar flight to safety, Corn Flakes owner Kellogg (NYSE:K) advanced 2.02% and Wheaties producer General Mills (NYSE:GIS) gained 1.17%. Food for thought for those who recently suggested no one ever eats its cereals anymore.
 
There aren't any top-tier economic reports released today, but Alcoa (NYSE:AA) unofficially ushers in first-quarter reporting season when it releases results after the close. Others announcing earnings include International Speedway (NASDAQ:ISCA) and WD-40 Company (NASDAQ:WDFC).
 
American Eagle Outfitters (NYSE:AEO): Another day, another downgrade for the stock, which slid 7.89% yesterday. The apparel outfit is currently imploding another 1.11% as we speak after getting downgraded to Neutral from Buy at Janney. Concerns include an inventory overhang and accompanying margin pressure. Its target price is $10.
 
Antero Resources (NYSE:AR): Citigroup cuts the company to Neutral from Buy.
 
Banc of California (NASDAQ:BANC): The regional financial firm sees its rating reduced to Perform from Outperform at Raymond James.
 
BOK Financial (NASDAQ:BOKF): BMO Capital cuts the stock to Underperform from Market Perform.
 
Cisco Systems (NASDAQ:CSCO): Shares in the crucial Dow (INDEXDJX:.DJI) component, which bucked yesterday's brutal sell-off by rising 0.61%, are slipping before the bell. This, after being taken to Hold from Buy with Wunderlich, which says cloud services represent a threat. The price objective, previously $25, is trimmed by $1 on a stock that was seen until recently as a relatively "safe haven" in technology.
 
Dr Pepper Snapple (NYSE:DPS): DPS gets downgraded to Underperform from Market Perform with Wells Fargo, which says issues include an excessive valuation allied to margin pressure.
 
Gigamon (NYSE:GIMO): The stock, tumbling some 25.19% as we speak, is taken to Sector Perform from Outperform at Pacific Crest. Lowered earnings guidance for the first quarter is a concern.
 
Questcor Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ:QCOR): Jefferies reduces its rating to Hold from Buy.
 
Sina Corp (NASDAQ:SINA): Shares are now Neutral from Buy at Mizuho.
 
Spirit Realty Capital (NYSE:SRC): Morgan Stanley moves the stock to Equal-Weight from Overweight.
 
Statoil (NYSE:STO): The energy outfit is slashed to Hold from Buy at Societe Generale.

Also see:

New Stock Coverage: Coke and Pepsi Poised to Pop
 
Stock Upgrades: Mr. Market, in Need of Mouth-to-Mouth Resuscitation, Puckers Up to Estee Lauder
No positions in stocks mentioned.

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