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Stock Downgrades: A Money Tree No More, Zillow Weeps Like a Willow

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

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Online real estate outfit Zillow (NASDAQ:Z) surged 7.57% yesterday to a fresh peak. With shares having now advanced 84.94% in the past year alone, an equity analyst cites valuation concerns in reducing the rating. Shares are pulling back this morning as a result of the increased caution.
 
Am not sure what Zillow values 235 East 42nd Street at, but yesterday Wall Street was indeed indebted to the Midtown Manhattan boulevard. Pfizer (NYSE:PFE), whose world headquarters are at that address, rose 2.02% to top the Dow (INDEXDJX:.DJI). Britain's Sunday Times said the pharmaceutical firm may spend $101 billion buying England's AstraZeneca (NYSE:AZN), which advanced 8.84% to a historic high on the news. (The same newspaper, in another April 31 years ago, was bamboozled by the most infamous journalistic hoax in history, falling for the fake "Hitler diaries," so it may be best to take its weekend rumor with a grain of salt.) Warren Buffett, who so loves railroads he bought one, saw his Berkshire Hathaway (NYSE:BRK.B) reach a fresh peak, and Union Pacific(NYSE:UNP) -- which has been riding the rails since Promontory Point -- added on 1.03%. Training beats coaching, then, especially when Washington gets out of the way. No seriously, stand aside senator. For your own safety.
 
Today in economics, March existing-homes sales are expected to slip from February's pace at 10:00 a.m. Eastern. Another full day for first-quarter earnings announcements sees AT&T Inc. (NYSE:T), Intuitive Surgical (NASDAQ:ISRG), and McDonald's (NYSE:MCD) all release results.
 
Now let's turn to this morning's rating reductions, an eclectic bunch that includes a steak house and a financial firm in addition to Zillow.
CommonWealth REIT (NYSE:CWH): Shares are slashed to Sell from Hold at Stifel amid concerns over an upcoming $379.5 million Series D conversion into common stock.
 
Diageo (NYSE:DEO): The Guinness owner gets downgraded to Outperform from Perform at Raymond James.
 
Del Frisco's Restaurant (NASDAQ:DFRG): Raymond James reduces its rating on the steak house to Perform from Outperform.
 
Deutsche Bank (NYSE:DB): The stock is now Neutral from Buy at UBS.
 
Rush Enterprises (NASDAQ:RUSHA): Bank of America-Merrill Lynch lowers its investment opinion to Underperform from Neutral.
 
Zillow: Shares are cut to Fair Value from Buy at CRT Capital.
 
Zions Bancorp (NASDAQ:ZION): Evercore trims the equity to Equal Weight from Overweight.

Also see:

New Stock Coverage: Ruckus Wireless Ready to Make Some Noise

Stock Upgrades: Facebook Doesn't Need Botox to Look Beautiful
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No positions in stocks mentioned.
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