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Upgrades & Downgrades: Green Mountain Falls Off Cliff


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

The S&P 500 Index ended the week up 0.85%, a deceptively minuscule move that masked much turmoil underneath. Investors appeared assured that Italy, having gone through 59 governments in 60 years, has finally found its man in the form of Mario Monti, a 68-year-old economist committed to raising the country's retirement age to 67. By 2026. All three averages turned positive for the year with a surge on Friday, 11/11/11 living up to its reputation for signaling "synchronicity". (For shareholders of a certain age, Synchronicity will always signify a Police album which topped the U.S. sales charts in September 1983, the same month the American economy created 1.1 million jobs; those were the days my friend.) Nymex crude oil advanced 2.8% to within a whisker of $100 a barrel and, on CNBC, a man with a 10 gallon hat "stepped in it." Wedding ring king Blue Nile (NILE) lost 32.8% in a single session while Newt Gingrich, who prefers to shop at Tiffany's (TIF), surged in the polls.

In the week the wealth gap between Americans old and young was revealed as the widest ever Viacom Inc (VIA.B) Executive Chairman Sumner M. Redstone, in his 89th year, saw shares jump 9.01% to top the S&P 500, thanks to the exploits of some perpetual adolescents on the Jersey Shore. Walt Disney (DIS) gained 5.6%, proof that It's a Small World After All, as anyone who thinks Europe's crisis can be contained to its shores will shortly discover to their cost. MF Global (MFGLQ.PK) fired all 1,066 employees on Friday as it searches for its missing $600 million. (Maybe it should ask Uncle Sam, with its Sixth Sense for seeing dead people as worthy of governmental largess.) Elsewhere E*Trade (ETFC), famous for its Super Bowl babies, fell 14.00% and a gridiron great left in disgrace over treatment of young children. And the New York Comedy Festival brought the house down. As Greek-American humorists Zach Galifianakis, David Sedaris, and Tina Fey can all attest - using the arithmetic of local hero Archimedes - Comedy = Tragedy + Time. One day, although don't expect it to be soon, this economic mess too shall pass. No top-tier economic data this morning but earnings are expected out of J.C. Penney (JCP), Lowe's (LOW), and Mitsubishi UFJ Financial (MTU).


Cadence Pharmaceuticals (CADX): The small cap stock is started with a Buy rating and $7 price objective at brokerage Collins Stewart. Catalysts include the sales potential of Ofirmev, successfully launched early in 2011 as a multimodal analgesic therapy for an array of patients experiencing pain and fever.

Citrix Systems (CTXS): Susquehanna picks up the tech stock with a Positive.

Annaly Capital Management (NLY): NLY is a new Overweight at JPMorgan.


Caterpillar (CAT): The Dow component is added to Goldman Sachs' list of Conviction Buys.

Colgate-Palmolive (CL): Crédit Agricole lifts the consumer produces powerhouse to Underperform from Sell.

CSX Corp (CSX): The transportation company is upgraded to Buy from Neutral with a $26 target at Sterne Agee.

Spirit Aerosystems (SPR): SPR is added to Bank of America-Merrill Lynch's U.S. 1 list of favored stocks.

Amylin Pharmaceuticals (AMLN): Shares, badly battered last week, are up ahead of the open on an Outperform-from-Neutral boost by Robert W. Baird, which takes its target price up by $2 to $15. The broker calls it a contrarian, near-term idea, as the separation from Eli Lilly (LLY) removes a conflicted partner in their view. (CRM): Shares get a Buy-from-Neutral boost at Citigroup.

Time Warner Telecom (TWTC): Morgan Stanley takes TWTC to Overweight from Equal Weight. Also read Media Stocks Finally Catch a Bid!

Tyson Foods: (TSN): The poultry producer is now Overweight from Neutral at JPMorgan.

Smith & Nephew (SNN): Shares are boosted to Outperform from Neutral at Exane BNP Paribas.


Pfizer (PFE): The drug stock, a Dow member, is moved to Market Perform from Outperform at Leerink Swann. For related content, see Rare Disease Drug Maker NPS Pharmaceuticals Looks Undervalued.

Amgen (AMGN): The biotech giant also gets lowered to Market Perform from Outperform with Leerink.

Barclays PLC (BCS): Shares of the British financial firm are trading lower in London this morning after getting downgraded to Sell from Neutral at Goldman Sachs, which says "We believe…regulatory super-equivalence has the capacity to structurally disadvantage UK banks."

CBS Corp (CBS): CBS is cut to Neutral from Buy at Nomura.

Hershey Foods (HSY): The confectionery company is cut to Hold from Buy at Argus.

Green Mountain Coffee Roasters (GMCR): Shares of the single-cup king are down sharply before the bell after being reduced to Hold from Buy at Argus. Concerns include a recent earnings miss, and the possibility that it may fall short of investors' elevated growth expectations in upcoming quarters. See also Green Mountain: Cheap for All the Wrong Reasons.

Eaton Vance (EV): The asset manager is now Sell from Neutral at Citigroup.

Zurich Financial: Shares, which trade here in the States under symbol SFSVY, get cut to Neutral from Buy at Credit Suisse.

DSW Inc (DSW): The footwear firm is reduced to Neutral from Buy at Citi. (CTRP): CTRP is cut to Hold from Buy by Brean Murray after earnings.

Telefónica SA (TEF): The Spanish telecom titan, which reported its first loss in nine years on Friday, is cut to Neutral from Overweight at JPMorgan.

Lenovo (LNVGY): Staying overseas, stock in the computer maker is lowered to Underweight from Neutral at HSBC Securities, which cites potentially lower profit margins going forward.

KC Southern (KSU): KSU is cut to Neutral from Buy at Sterne Agee.

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No positions in stocks mentioned.
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