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Stock Downgrades: There Will Be Blood at Anadarko Petroleum


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

The Waldorf salad, invented in 1896, had a decent day. If only the Dow Average (INDEXDJX:.DJI), which arrived on the scene in the same year, could say the same. Hilton Worldwide (NYSE:HLT), owner of the iconic New York hotel, enjoyed a 7.50% surge on its trading debut but the stock market's salad days have recently received a serious dressing down. Naked short sales? Not quite, but L Brands (NYSE:LB), owner of Victoria's Secret lingerie, dropped despite receiving a research recommendation. At a fashion show this week, its angels (presumably the ones that so distracted the sign language interpreter at Mr. Mandela's memorial service) paid homage to Paris. Paris Hilton's already bulging bank account hardly needs any more help, unless she invests in Lululemon (NASDAQ:LULU), whose pants have allowed all and sundry to "see France." It imploded 11.65% yesterday and today gets cut at Credit Suisse.

There are no quarterly earnings announcements of note, but the Fed head inauspiciously turns 60 on this Friday the 13th. Ahead of next week's critical FOMC policy meeting, the market desperately needs his birthday party punch bowl to remain overflowing for a wee while yet.

Anadarko Petroleum (NYSE:APC): (Hat tip to a fine oil film for today's title.) Shares, imploding some 11.86% as I write this article, get downgraded to Neutral from Buy at Citigroup. JPMorgan (Underweight from Neutral) and Global Hunter Securities (Neutral from Buy with its price target taken to $106 from $133) add to the agony. Morgan analysts wrote in a note that "lingering uncertainty will cause [Anadarko Petroleum] stock to underperform," following a negative legal ruling involving its Kerr-McGee unit.

Anglo American (OTCMKTS:AAUKY): Deutsche Bank cuts the company to Hold from Buy.

BP Plc (NYSE:BP): On a decidedly difficult day for the oil patch, the British petroleum firm notorious for its Gulf of Mexico spill in 2010 gets slashed to Neutral from Buy at UBS.

Iberdrola (OTCMKTS:IBDRY): Concerned about under-appreciated political headwinds, Goldman Sachs slashes the Spanish energy giant to Sell from Neutral.

Lululemon Athletica (NASDAQ:LULU): More bad news for Lululemon Athletica, whose slumping stock is now down 18.66%, even in the bull market of the past year. Shares are falling further as we speak after getting taken to Neutral from Outperform at Credit Suisse.

Restoration Hardware (NYSE:RH): Restoration Hardware stock, a relatively recent initial public offering, sees its rating reduced to Neutral from Overweight at Piper Jaffray.

United Technologies (NYSE:UTX): The maker of Otis elevators, a Dow (INDEXDJX:.DJI) member, could itself use a lift this morning. Shares are exhibiting weakness ahead of the opening bell after being moved to Market Perform from Outperform by William Blair.

(See also: New Stock Coverage: FireEye Is On a Tear and Stock Upgrades: Amazon Isn't Falling From the Sky Any Time Soon)
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