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Stock Downgrades: Don't Get Fleeced by Gildan Activewear


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

MINYANVILLE ORIGINAL Money, unlike our Secretary of State, never sleeps, so yesterday - while American markets were slumbering after tripping out on tryptophan - Research In Motion (RIMM) rose 17.3% in Toronto trading. This after increasing 5.72% on Wednesday, the busiest travel day of the year. Its stock, surging further before the bell, is clearly going places - though no thanks to the National Transportation Safety Board and the Transportation Security Administration.

"What's this? A piece of toast? A pretzel stick? Popcorn? What blockhead cooked all this?" was the lament of Peppermint Patty in A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving. Well, she may want to temper her distaste after baker Flowers Foods (FLO) - up 20% last week on the Hostess fallout - added on another 3.39%, and pretzel maker J&J Snack Foods (JJSF) hit the highest level in its history. (Granted, Pop Secret owner Diamond Foods (DMND) did drop to a new lifetime low.)

And Hewlett-Packard (HPQ), whose 11.95% implosion on Tuesday made it the Dow's (^DJI) poorest performer by some distance, gained 1.96% to best all blue 24-hours later. With all due respect to Garfield's performance at the parade, its rebound does look awfully like a dead cat bounce.

There's no top-tier economic or earnings announcements out today, and the stock market is set to close early at 1:00 p.m. Eastern.

AU Optronics (AUO): Sanford Bernstein moves the stock to Market Perform from Outperform.

Gildan Activewear (NYSE:GIL) The maker of fleeces and T-shirts gets lowered to Neutral from Buy at Bank of America-Merrill Lynch, which also trims its price target by $0.75 to $34.25. Following an 80% year-to-date share price increase, "valuation largely reflects expectations for a strong earnings recovery in 2013,″ analysts wrote in a note this morning.

KIT digital (KITD): Shares, falling 56.52% before the bell, are moved to Market Perform from Outperform at Northland due to questions surrounding accounting errors and its high cash burn.

Metro AG (MTAGF) The German supermarket giant is lower in Europe this morning after Nomura cut it to Neutral from Buy.

(See also: Stock Upgrades: Raising a Toast to SABMiller.)
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