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Stock Downgrades: Gray Day for JetBlue

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

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MINYANVILLE ORIGINAL On the day pop singer Petula Clark turned 80, Wall Street continued to head inexorably downtown. Shares slipped again, and now stand at their lowest level in almost five months. Europe officially entered another recession, but if anyone expects its constituent members to go Dutch, they are sadly mistaken, since Holland posted the worst figures of all. On the plus side, Perry Ellis (PERY) jumped 13.81%. Its celebrity fans include True Blood protagonist Joe Manganiello, a werewolf in sheep's clothing who can attest that today of all days, it's always darkest before the dawn.

Twenty-four hours after Summer Infant (SUMR) fell 15.17%, Sumner Redstone, an 89-year old executive at the other end of the age spectrum, saw his Viacom Inc. (VIAB) gain 2.58% on impressive earnings. Destination Maternity (DEST) enjoyed a baby bump, up 5.41%, and new mom Marissa Mayer cemented her reputation as Superwoman, with her Yahoo (YHOO) being the lone S&P 500 (^GSPC) stock to reach a fresh 52-week peak. Unfortunately however, even asking a wonderful children's hospital named after the patron saint of hopeless cases to ring the NYSE opening bell couldn't prevent Children's Place Retail Stores (PLCE) from plunging 14.19%.

It's a fairly quiet Friday for economic data, but earnings announcements are expected out of Casual Male Retail Group (CMRG), Cyberonics (CYBX), Foot Locker (FL), Hibbett Sports (HIBB), J.M. Smucker (SJM), and London Stock Exchange Group (LDNXF).

American Eagle Outfitters (AEO): AEO is moved to Market Perform from Outperform by BMO Capital, which is troubled by a lack of near-term catalysts. The price objective is also lowered by $7, to $20.

Banro (BAA): BMO Capital Markets moves the stock to Market Perform from Outperform.

DryShips (DRYS): Shares are now Neutral from Buy at Global Hunter, whose concerns include expiring charter rates.

Intuit (INTU): The TurboTax owner is moved to Hold from Buy at Millman Research.

JetBlue Airways (NASDAQ:JBLU): Shares are slashed to Sell from Neutral at Goldman Sachs.

Tranzyme (TZYM): Canaccord takes TZYM to Hold from Buy after TZP-102′s Ph 2b primary endpoint miss.

William Morrison Supermarkets (MRWSY): The British grocer gets downgraded to Neutral from Buy at UBS.

Windstream (WIN): Goldman gives the stock a Sell-from-Neutral ratings reduction.

Xstrata (XSRAY): Shares are cut to Sector Perform from Outperform at RBC Capital.

(See also: New Stock Coverage: Don't Expect Discount Brokers to Make You Rich and Stock Upgrades: Casual Friday Suits The Gap Just Fine.)
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No positions in stocks mentioned.
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