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Stock Downgrades: Kohl's Takes Its Lumps


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

Stocks wrote another exciting new chapter, with US markets setting fresh records even as the CEO of an unloved Cisco Systems (NASDAQ: CSCO), blaming a "hard to read" macroeconomic backdrop, saw his stock tumble 10.96%. (He should surely have stuck with CliffsNotes publisher Houghton Mifflin Harcourt (NASDAQ:HMHC), which jumped 32.17% on its first trading day.) Thus did both the Dow (INDEXDJX:.DJI) and S&P 500 Index (INDEXSP:.INX) end at historic highs. Nasdaq (INDEXNASDAQ:.IXIC) had to content itself with reaching levels last seen in 2000, when Cisco was briefly the world's most valuable company and Sisqó ruled the radio with his Thong Song. Now the networking name is clearly an emperor without clothes, although Victoria's Secret owner L Brands (NYSE:LTD), up 0.90% to a new peak of its own, has nothing to hide under its $10 million bras. Tyco International (NYSE:TYC), maker of fire detectors, jumped 2.37% after it beat Street estimates. Must be all the business from Tesla Motors (NASDAQ:TSLA), whose cars have been thrice on fire of late and where fire trucks were just called to investigate a hot metal machinery malfunction at its Fremont headquarters. It cooled off another 0.79%. No such troubles for Twitter (NYSE:TWTR), which gained 4.91% to finish at its highest close since last week's initial public offering. JPMorgan (NYSE:JPM), whose Twitter town hall was a predictable fiasco, must curse the day the micro-blogging service set up shop. "What's your favorite type of whale?" was one of the tamer questions asked. Do you Shamu? On a day SeaWorld (NYSE:SEAS) slumped 6.52% after announcing earnings, hopefully not.

In terms of economic events that may move US markets this morning, September wholesale inventories are expected to ease off slightly from the pace seen in August at 10:00 a.m. Eastern. Regarding specific stocks, Maximus, Inc. (NYSE:MMS) beat Street estimates when it reported quarterly results earlier this morning.

BlackBerry (NASDAQ:BBRY): BlackBerry is moved to Underperform from Neutral at Macquarie. Over the past 12 months, BlackBerry
stock has tumbled 23.73%.

Dish Network (NASDAQ:DISH): Broadcaster DISH Network gets downgraded to Equal Weight from Overweight by Barclays. Earlier in the week, stock in Dish Network hit its highest level since May 2000.

Gogo Inc. (NASDAQ:GOGO): Inflight Wi-Fi provider Gogo, which has surged of late, is today lowered to Underweight from Equal-Weight at Morgan Stanley.

Kellogg (NYSE:K): Barclays cuts the cereal company to Underweight from Equal Weight.

Kohl's Corp (NYSE:KSS): More bad news for Kohl's Corp, the retailer whose stock imploded 8.08% yesterday even in a record-breaking stock market. BMO Capital cuts Kohl's Corp, whose third-quarter results were worse than expected, to Perform from Outperform.

Prudential Financial (NYSE:PRU): Deutsche Bank downgrades the insurance outfit to Hold from Buy.

Tile Shop Holdings (NASDAQ:TTS) Fresh from yesterday's 38.96% tumble in the stock amid allegations of accounting hanky panky, Citigroup takes TTS to Neutral from Buy.

(See also: New Stock Coverage: Ominous Echoes of '87 at Aeropostale? and Stock Upgrades: Ball Corporation About to Bounce)
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