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Stock Downgrades: Checking Out of Hyatt Hotels


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

MINYANVILLE ORIGINAL Markets finally resumed trading following their first two-day weather related shutdown since 1888, an unimaginably distant age when Jack the Ripper stalked the streets, stocks were still counted in fractions, and Wall Street headlines were conveyed via ticker tape.

Yesterday Western Union (WU), inventor of the ticker tape, tumbled 29.00% in the Nasdaq's (^IXIC) single worst showing after disappointing earnings and multiple ratings reductions. Other analyst activity saw LifeLock (LOCK) levitate 3.57% on the Day of the Dead on an upbeat initiation, while the iconic yellow trucks of Ryder (R) were only assigned a lukewarm Neutral at Goldman Sachs (GS). (Shares still edged up 0.71% and its vehicles certainly fared far better than that fleet of big yellow taxis currently underwater in Hoboken.) Brooklyn's Coney Island also suffered severely from Sandy on a day Nathan's Famous (NATH) franks, among its most famous names, fell 5.81%.

Today in economics, September construction spending and the Institute for Supply Management's October manufacturing index are each out at 10:00 a.m. Eastern. On the corporate front, earnings season rolls on with quarterly results expected out of American International Group (AIG), British Sky Broadcasting (BSYBY), Chesapeake Energy (CHK), Estée Lauder (EL), Exxon Mobil (XOM), Kellogg (K), Marathon Petroleum (MPC), Newmont Mining (NEM), Pfizer (PFE), Sharp (SHCAY), and Starbucks (SBUX).

BG Group (BRGYY): Shares in the British energy outfit are off sharply in London this morning after a Neutral-from-Buy ratings reduction at Bank of America-Merrill Lynch.

Coherent Inc. (COHR): The stock is now Hold from Buy at Needham following weaker than expected earnings.

Comverse Technology (CMVT): CMVT gets cut to Sector Perform from Outperform at RBC Capital amid spin-off activity.

Fresenius Medical (FMS): The stock is cut by both Bank of America-Merrill Lynch (Neutral from Buy) and Piper Jaffray (Neutral from Overweight.)

Hyatt Hotels (NYSE:H): Troubled by a lack of catalysts after the company's third quarter earnings miss, SunTrust takes the accommodation outfit to Neutral from Buy and also trims its target to $42 from $48.

Johnson Controls (JCI): Shares are now Hold From Buy at Needham.

Magellan Midstream Partners (MMP): Credit Suisse lowers the limited partnership to Neutral from Outperform on account of valuation concerns. Its new price objective is $46.

Netflix (NASDAQ:NFLX): Shares, a stellar performer yesterday, are now Perform from Outperform with an $80 price objective at Oppenheimer, which cites valuation issues and video subscription competition from Amazon (AMZN).

PetroChina (PTR): PTR is downgraded to Underweight from Neutral at HSBC Securities.

PriceSmart (PSMT): Shares are taken to Hold from Buy at Benchmark, whose new target price is $86.

Staar Surgical (STAA): Canaccord cuts the company to Hold from Buy due to continued sales misses. The target is also lowered by $1.25, to $7.00.

Talisman Energy (TLM): The stock is now Neutral from Buy at Citigroup.

Western Union (WU): First Analysis cuts the company, whose shares tumbled 29.01% yesterday, to Equal Weight from Overweight.

Zumiez (ZUMZ): Shares, tumbling 12% before today's opening bell, are now Underweight from Neutral at Piper Jaffray.

(See also: Stock Upgrades: Tupperware Can't Contain Its Excitement and New Stock Coverage: It's All About the Benjamins for Franklin Covey.)
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