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Stock Downgrades: Teenage Crush Is Over at Aeropostale


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

"Buy when it snows, sell when it goes," says the old Wall Street saw. Yesterday that age-old adage proved profitable once more, with Dow Industrials (INDEXDJX:.DJI) ending up above 16,000 as another blizzard raged. The umpteenth arctic blast of the season was not, as New York's silver-haired head educator preposterously put it, "a beautiful day." Indeed the wintry weather was sufficiently frightful to postpone testimony from Janet Yellen, whose own gray hair hides her infinitely more impressive gray matter. The Fed head's market-friendly comments on Tuesday sent stocks soaring, but even as the white stuff necessitated her absence yesterday, Nasdaq (INDEXNASDAQ:.IXIC) rose for a sixth straight session. Michael Kors (NYSE:KORS) surged 2.50% on a broker boost in attaining an all-time high. Clearly Gordon Gekko, who had a ringside seat at the fashion designer's show only 24 hours earlier, continues to trade on inside information. Also hitting historic bests were Priceline (NASDAQ:PCLN), pride of Captain Kirk, and Time Warner Cable (NYSE:TWC), bane of Captain Picard. This, as the number two player in America's most hated industry was bought by Comcast Corporation (NASDAQ:CMCSA), based in the City of Brotherly Love. As for the City by the Bay, Tony Bennett long ago left his heart in San Francisco, and yesterday investors lost their wallets there, too, as its hometown hero URS Corp (NYSE:URS) nose-dived an NYSE-worst 13.88%.

Today's earnings announcements include Campbell Soup (NYSE:CPB), Petrobras (NYSE:PBR), and Red Robin Gourmet Burgers (NASDAQ:RRGB). On Monday, US stock and bond markets will be closed in honor of Washington's Birthday.

Aeropostale (NYSE:ARO): The apparel outfit, which caters to a fickle 14- to 17-year-old demographic, is among several once-hot brands now increasingly disowned by adolescents. Today shares are moved to Market Perform from Outperform by BMO Capital.

Agnico-Eagle Mines (NYSE:AEM): UBS cuts the commodity name to Neutral from Buy.

Banco do Brasil (OTCMKTS:BDORY): Shares are now downgraded to Neutral from Outperform at Credit Suisse.

CafePress (NASDAQ:PRSS): Cantor Fitzgerald reduces its rating to Hold from Buy.

DISH Network (NASDAQ:DISH): DISH, home of the Hopper digital video recording device, gets downgraded to Neutral from Buy at Citigroup.

EQT Midstream Partners (NYSE:EQM): Credit Suisse lowers the limited partnership to Neutral from Outperform.

Huntsman Corp (NYSE:HUN): Shares are now Neutral from Reduce at SunTrust, whose amended price objective is $23.

Manchester United (NYSE:MANU): Not the first rating reduction in recent weeks for this storied soccer side, currently struggling in seventh place in England's top-tier table. Today its shares are taken to Market Perform from Outperform at Raymond James.

Mattel (NASDAQ:MAT): Oh dear, a Barbie backlash is clearly brewing under the covers. There's no love for her and Ken on Valentine's Day, for the toy titan's parent gets cut to Hold from Buy at Argus.

Tractor Supply (NASDAQ:TSCO): Oppenheimer takes TSCO to Perform from Outperform and also trims its target price by $10, to $70. Concerns include a relatively hefty trading multiple, along with range-bound upside earnings potential.

See also:

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Stock Upgrades: Home Is Where the Heart Is for TreeHouse Foods
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