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Stock Downgrades: How Now Brown Cash Cow? Dean Foods Cries Over Spilled Milk

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

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Wall Street's silver spoon was abruptly snatched away by two Fed officials speaking in forked tongues. Mixed messages on continuing quantitative easing from Narayana Kocherlakota of Minneapolis and Dallas' Richard Fisher befuddled markets and suggest that Yellen, big on communication, will shortly accomplish much more by speaking softly. US stock markets ended broadly lower, with Dow Industrials (INDEXDJX:.DJI) snapping a two-session win streak. This as China, which clearly has communication issues of its own, concluded its four-day Third Plenary session of the Communist Party Politburo with a communique - sorry, communiqué - that made cryptic mention of "crossing the river by feeling stones." (Uh, "huh?" Must've been lost in translation.) FedEx (NYSE:FDX) was downgraded by an equity analyst who said the stock "lacks significant near-term upside." Dan Loeb immediately took care of that, with his love letter to its Mr. Smith sending the stock up 1.59% amid much red ink elsewhere. Pandora (NYSE:P), the radio stock, rose 4.01% to a historic high. Pandora (OTCMKTS:PNDZY), the Danish jeweler, dropped 5.06% after announcing earnings. And opening a Pandora's Box proved tragically deadly in England.

In terms of economic events that may move US markets today, at 2:00 p.m. Eastern the Treasury's October budget deficit is seen shrinking from September's figure. Regarding specific stocks, earnings announcements are expected out of Ahold (OTCMKTS:AHONY), Canadian Solar (NASDAQ:CSIQ), Cisco Systems (NASDAQ:CSCO), E.ON (OTCMKTS:EONGY), ExOne (NASDAQ:XONE), GDF Suez (OTCMKTS:GDFZY), Kinross Gold (NYSE:KGC), Macy's (NYSE:M), NetApp (NASDAQ:NTAP), NetEase (NASDAQ:NTES), and SeaWorld (NYSE:SEAS).

Air Methods (NASDAQ:AIRM): Shares are cut to Hold from Buy with WallachBeth, whose new price objective is $55. Valuation is a concern, the brokerage believes

Amedisys (NASDAQ:AMED): The stock is slashed to Sell from Hold at Deutsche Bank, whose new target price is $8.

Aon plc (NYSE:AON): UBS cuts the financial firm to Neutral from Buy at UBS.

ArcelorMittal (NYSE:MT): The steel stock gets downgraded to Underperform from Neutral by BNP Paribas.

Banco do Brasil (OTCMKTS:BDORY): Shares are now Neutral from Overweight at JPMorgan.

Dean Foods (NYSE:DF): America's largest dairy processor Dean Foods is now Neutral from Outperform at Credit Suisse. Yesterday, Dean Foods stock slumped 7.66%.

Hibbett Sports (NASDAQ:HIBB): Susquehanna slashes the stock to Neutral from Positive.

Intrepid Potash (NYSE:IPI): The fertilizer firm is now Negative from Neutral, again at Susquehanna.

Nucor (NYSE:NUE): Morgan Stanley cuts the commodity company to Equal-Weight from Overweight.

Omnicom (NYSE:OMC): Adverting giant Omnicom gets downgraded to Hold from Buy at Pivotal Research. Over the past year, stock in Omnicom is up 48.85%.

Tesco (OTCMKTS:TSCDY): Shares are now Neutral from Overweight at HSBC Securities.

Volvo (OTCMKTS:VOLVY): Swedish car company Volvo sees its stock taken to Equal Weight from Overweight by Barclays. Volvo has been negatively impacted by plunging car use in its home European market, especially among the young.

WhiteHorse Finance (NASDAQ:WHF): BB&T Capital cuts the company to Hold from Buy.

(See also: New Stock Coverage: Bottom Line, Lululemon Is No Longer Flying by the Seat of Its Pants and Stock Upgrades: US Steel Is a Steal)
No positions in stocks mentioned.
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