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Stock Downgrades: Time to Take Profits in AOL?

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

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MINYANVILLE ORIGINAL On an otherwise stellar session in equities, the E*TRADE (ETFC) babies saw their stock options fall 1.37% but the news wasn't all bad for tiny tots, who are now finally free from the two candidate's campaign clutches.

Mountaineering company Black Diamond (BDE), maker of climbing packs, crampons, and crash pads, skidded 6.84% as it became obvious yesterday's election will still be powerless to prevent our fiscal cliff. Greenwich Connecticut-based candle-maker Blyth (BTH) fell 3.11% during the day and lost a further 2.12% after-hours. Clearly the hedge fund heavies in the Nutmeg State's southernmost municipality had exhausted the company's entire inventory holding mournful candlelight vigils once the Electoral College result became apparent.

Ryder System (R) rose 4.86% on an upgrade, although its moving vans won't now be needed at the White House. An 84,080 square foot, 18 acre single family pad which is now worth $286,911,062, up 1.4% from four years ago, according to Zillow (Z). That kind of increase apparently isn't contagious however, as the online real estate outfit imploded 18.10% yesterday.

Today in economics, analysts expect to see a contraction in September consumer credit at 3:00 p.m. Eastern. In earnings action, Activision Blizzard (ATVI), BNP Paribas (BNPQY), Burberry (BURBY), Carlsberg (CABGY), CBS Corp (CBS), ING Groep (ING), J.C. Penney (JCP), Kraft Foods (KRFT), Macy's (M), Telefónica (TEF), Time Warner (TWX), and Whole Foods Market (WFM) are all due to report results.

AOL Inc. (NYSE:AOL) Crédit Agricole cuts the recently surging Internet outfit to Underperform.

Burberry (BURBY): The British clothing company is cut to Hold from Buy at Investec.

Diamondrock Hospitality (DRH): Goldman Sachs downgrades shares to Sell from Hold.

EOG Resources (EOG): EOG gets downgraded to Hold from Buy with due to valuation issues. Its price objective is now $132.

Fiat (FIATY): Shares are slashed to Sell from Hold by Deutsche Bank.

Frontier Communications (FTR): FRT is moved to Market Perform from Outperform at Raymond James.

Higher One (ONE): ONE is now Neutral from Outperform at Credit Suisse.

Infinity Pharmaceutical (INFI): Shares are downgraded to Hold from Buy at Jefferies.

LivePerson (LPSN): The stock, also upgraded this morning, is taken to Hold from Buy at The Benchmark Company, which says it could take another 2-3 quarters before the company's product bookings begin to pick up.

Managed Care Companies: Humana (HUM) is now Neutral from Buy at Bank of America-Merrill Lynch, which cuts WellPoint (WLP) all the way to Underperform from Buy.

TreeHouse Foods (THS): THS is taken to Underperform from Neutral at Credit Suisse.

US Auto Parts Network (PRTS): Shares are cut to Neutral from Buy at Janney Montgomery Scott.

(See also: Stock Upgrades: Fossil Still Has Time on Its Side and New Stock Coverage: Not Yet Time to Skinny Dip in Aruba Networks.)
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No positions in stocks mentioned.
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