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Stock Downgrades: Molycorp Can No Longer Be Mollycoddled


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

MINYANVILLE ORIGINAL Celgene (CELG) surged 5.82% on high hopes for its product to treat pancreatic cancer. Sadly too late for Steve Jobs, whose Apple Inc. (AAPL) - now down for seven straight weeks - slipped another 0.77%. There was no trading in bonds because of Veterans' Day but with the cult Cupertino company's dividend yield now exceeding that of the 10-year treasury, never a good sign for an allegedly go-go growth stock, who needs fixed income? Ron Johnson will at least be relieved to have left the iPhone maker for JC Penney (JCP). Then again, maybe not, after it tumbled 12.94% on iffy earnings and a ratings reduction.

Meanwhile Microsoft (MSFT) lost 2.12%, making it the Dow's (^DJI) worst stock. This after Steve Ballmer said sales of its newly released Surface tablet were "modest." Not a word normally associated with the hard-charging CEO, who was once reported to have thrown a chair across a room while swearing he would "****** kill Google" (GOOG).

There's no top-tier economic data due this morning but quarterly earnings continue apace, with retailers increasingly coming to the fore. Aecom Technology (ACM), Cisco Systems (CSCO), Dick's Sporting Goods (DKS), E.ON (EONGY), Home Depot (HD), Michael Kors (KORS), Saks Inc. (SKS), TJX Companies (TJX), Vivendi (VIVHY), and Vodafone (VOD) are all due to release results today.

Callon Petroleum (CPE): The small cap oil outfit is cut to Accumulate from Buy at Global Hunter.

C&J Energy (CJES): Shares are now Neutral from Overweight at JPMorgan.

Chemical Companies: LyondellBasell (LYB) is now Neutral from Buy at Goldman Sachs, which pulls Westlake Chemical (WLK) from its Conviction Buy List.

ComScore (SCOR): SCOR is cut to Underperform to Perform at Raymond James.

Crexus Investment (CXS): Deutsche Bank downgrades the stock to Hold from Buy, on account of Annaly's (NLY) $12.50 per share takeover offer. No competitive bids are envisaged by the brokerage.

Deutsche Post (DPSGY): The stock is now Neutral from Overweight at HSBC Securities.

E.ON AG (EONGY): HSBC cuts the German energy outfit to Underweight from Neutral.

Janus Capital (JNS): The stock is moved Underweight from Equal Weight at Morgan Stanley.

Jefferies Group (JEF): JEF gets moved to Market Perform from Outperform at JMP Securities.

Lumber Liquidators (LL): Stifel Nicolaus slashes the stock to Sell from Hold, sending it sharply lower ahead of the opening bell.

Molycorp (NYSE:MCP): Shares, which slumped to lifetime lows yesterday, are today taken to Equal-Weight from Overweight at Morgan Stanley.

Pacific Drilling (PACD): PACD gets downgraded to Neutral from Buy at Guggenheim.

(See also: Stock Upgrades: Sherwin-Williams Set to Paint the Town Red and New Stock Coverage: Berry Plastics Looks Fantastic.)
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