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Stock Downgrades: Herbalife Acting Like Life Ends Today

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

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MINYANVILLE ORIGINAL The Mayans, who knew plenty about pyramids, were wrong about the world ending today and, adding insult to injury, pyramid schemes are also best avoided at Herbalife (HLF), which nosedived 9.75% yesterday and has just incurred an analyst ratings reduction.

Dire prophecies about this being our last day on Earth have not apparently come to pass, but cemetery stock StoneMor Partners (STON) put the fun in funeral by levitating 3.29%. Elsewhere the death knell predicted for the personal computer industry appears to be awfully exaggerated after PC Mall (MALL) and PC Connection (PCCC) advanced by a respective 8.97% and 8.02%.

This morning in economics, analysts expect the University of Michigan's final figure for December consumer confidence to come in essentially unchanged at 9:55 a.m. Eastern. In earnings action Quanex Building Products (NX) and Walgreen (WAG) are due to report results.

Amicus Therapeutics (FOLD): Shares get downgraded to Underperform from Neutral with Wedbush after the Fabry Ph III study failure. Its price objective is also reduced sharply, to $1.50 from $6.

Bank of Commerce Holdings (BOCH): Raymond James reduces its rating to Market Perform from Outperform due to the pre-announced loan loss provision for Q4.

Compuware (CPWR): CPWR is now Neutral from Positive at Susquehanna.

Darling International (DAR): DAR gets downgraded to Equal Weight from Overweight at Stephens, which also trims its target price by $1 to $18.

Discover Financial Services (DFS): Shares are moved to Market Perform from Outperform at FBR Capital amid an increasingly uncertain revenue backdrop.

Eloqua (ELOQ): The stock is now Neutral from Overweight at JPMorgan.

Goldcorp (GG): GG gets downgraded to Neutral from Outperform at Credit Suisse amid lower production growth.

Herbalife (NYSE:HLF): The stock, which lost 9.95% yesterday, is off a further 1.39% before this morning's opening bell and has been cut to Hold from Buy at Argus amid "pyramid scheme" accusations.

Nike (NKE): Shares, up ahead of the open, are nonetheless now Neutral from Buy at Janney.

Paychex (PAYX): The stock is reduced to Neutral from Outperform by Robert W. Baird.

Research In Motion (RIMM): Crédit Agricole cuts the company to Sell from Underperform, citing cautious management commentary for its high-margin services revenue stream. The target is intact at $8.75.

Team (TISI): Shares are taken to Hold from Buy at KeyBanc Capital due to valuation concerns.

(See also: Stock Upgrades: Stock Up on Chili's Owner Brinker This First Day of Winter and New Stock Coverage: TripAdvisor Stopped in Its Tracks.)
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No positions in stocks mentioned.
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