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Upgrades & Downgrades: Advanced Micro Devices in Retreat


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

Berlin saw the fastest marathon in history on Sunday, but on the anniversary of the first-ever running of the storied race in ancient Greece, Germany learned that the current crisis in Athens won't be solved in a hurry. Stocks snapped a three-day winning streak, selling off late amid renewed European contagion concerns. With China's market falling to a 15-month low and U.S. durable goods orders down for a second month in three, the rest of the world hardly looks in fine fettle either. Save havens were scarce, cosmetics company Estee Lauder (EL) sliding 6.40% and in no position to put lipstick on a PIIG. Bank of America (BAC), whose Merrill Lynch unit was driven to the brink of bankruptcy by Stanley O'Neal, declined 4.94% for the Dow's worst performance. Alcoa (AA), which rewarded his work with a lucrative position on its audit committee, fell 4.91% in a photo finish between beleaguered blue chips. (Eastman Kodak (EK), which cratered a further 14.84% to a fresh low, must have supplied the film.)

(KSWS), sponsored by a former tennis star, imploded 8.63%; if Anna will forgive me the phrase, that made it one of The Biggest Losers. Amazon bucked a bad day, ending up a tidy 2.45% to within touching distance of last week's all-time high. 1999 began with the euro and ended with Jeff Bezos man of the year; one has aged better than the other. History major Meredith Whitney marked an anniversary, and Andy Rooney indirectly reminded us that those who forget history are doomed to repeat it. He was born in 1919, the same year the Treaty of Versailles officially ended World War I. An exceptionally astute Frenchman, wary of Germany, prophetically said at its signing that "This is not peace. It is an armistice for 20 years." All these years on, the two countries are alas as divided as ever. Today in economics, analysts expect a slowdown in July pending home sales at 10:00 a.m. Eastern. On the earnings front AZZ Inc (AZZ), CalAmp Corp (CAMP), DemandTec (DMAN), Hennes & Mauritz, Micron (MU), Worthington Industries (WOR), and Xyratex (XRTX) are all due to report results.


Agnico-Eagle Mines (AEM): The stock is initiated with an Overweight at HSBC Securities.

European airlines
: JPMorgan rolls out an Underweight on Air France-KLM (AFLYY) and has new Neutrals on Ryanair Holdings (RYAAY) and Deutsche Lufthansa AG (DLAKY.)

Celestica (CLS): BMO Capital begins CLS with a Market Perform rating and assigns it a price objective of $8.50.

Chinese gaming stocks: Macquarie has an Underperform and $4 target price on Shanda Games (GAME), has a new Neutral on Perfect World (PWRD) ($15 target), and establishes Outperforms on Giant Interactive Group (GA) ($4), (NTES) ($50), and (CYOU) ($40.)

Rigel Pharmaceuticals (RIGL): JP Morgan has a fresh Overweight on RIGL.

TravelCenters of America
(TA): TA is a new Neutral at UBS.

Magellan Health
(MGLN): The stock gets begun with a Buy at BB&T Capital.

Asset managers: Blackstone (BX) is a new Neutral at Sterne Agee, which starts Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co. (KKR) with a Buy.

Sherwin-Williams (SHW): The paint company is a new Underperform at CLSA.


FMC Tech (FTI): FTI is taken to Overweight from Neutral at JP Morgan.

ONEOK Partners (OKS): The stock is now Outperform from Neutral at Credit Suisse.

Layne Christensen
(LAYN): LAYN stock is up before the bell on a Neutral-from-Sell lift at UBS.

Qiagen (QGEN): Shares are moved to Outperform from Market Perform at Leerink Swann.

ONEOK (OKE): OKE is raised to Outperform from Market Perform with Wells Fargo.


Advanced Micro Devices
(AMD): Shares are slumping before the bell on several analyst downgrades. Among them Bank of America-Merrill Lynch, which lowers the chip giant to Underperform from Neutral and takes its target down to $5 from $8. The analyst wrote in a note that "We prefer buy-rated Intel Corp (INTC) which is poised to gain in notebooks/servers near-term and has superior manufacturing prowess."

DaVita (DVA): DVA is cut to Hold from Buy at Citigroup.

(DRQ): The stock is now Neutral from Overweight at JPMorgan.

MIPS Tech (MIPS): The small cap stock is reduced to Hold from Buy at The Benchmark Company.

Antofagasta plc
(ANFGY): ANFGY is now Neutral from Buy at Goldman Sachs.
No positions in stocks mentioned.
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