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Stock Downgrades: Alaska Air Hit After Putin Annexes Its Home State

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

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Flash Boys and a woman with a feel for fireworks ensured the Dow (INDEXDJX:.DJI) didn't end a desultory first quarter with a damp squib. Michael Lewis' book was the talk of the town, but it was Fed head Janet Yellen, with her welder's mask in hand, who really ignited the rally in equities. Men's Wearhouse (NYSE:MW), already dissed by Seinfeld, saw its recent purchase of Jos. A. Bank Clothiers (NASDAQ:JOSB) receive the Saturday Night Live treatment. Investors had the last laugh, however, as the acquisitive apparel outfit rose 1.20% on a broker boost. And speaking of men, who says we just don't listen? An Oracle (NYSE:ORCL) executive eavesdropped on his wife, and got slapped with an insider trading charge for his troubles.
 
Today's economic data include construction spending for February and March's Institute for Supply Management index, each out at 10:00 a.m. Eastern. On the earnings front, Apollo Education Group (NASDAQ:APOL) releases results.
 
Alaska Air (NYSE:ALK): (Okay, maybe I'm just messing with you -- it is April Fools' Day after all. But frankly I wouldn't put it past President Putin.) Shares are slashed to Equal Weight from Overweight at Evercore.
 
Alexandria Real Estate (NYSE:ARE): The stock is now Neutral from Buy at Citigroup.
 
Beam, Inc. (NYSE:BEAM): Citing reduced prospects for an alternative buyer emerging, Stifel Nicolaus moves the spirits maker to Hold from Buy.
 
Clean Harbors (NYSE:CLH): KeyBanc cuts CLH to Hold from Buy.
 
General Cable (NYSE:BGC): Shares get downgraded to Neutral from Buy at DA Davidson.
 
InvenSense (NYSE:INVN): Amid a risk/reward ratio that is now roughly balanced, Oppenheimer reduces its rating to Perform from Outperform.
 
Mack-Cali Realty (NYSE:CLI): The stock is now Hold from Buy at KeyBanc Capital.
 
Oasis Petroleum (NYSE:OAS): Oasis is downgraded to Hold from Buy as Deutsche Bank trims its recommendation on the energy outfit.
 
Potash (NYSE:POT): Potash is downgraded to Hold from Buy at Cantor Fitzgerald.

Also see:

New Stock Coverage: Big Banks Reduced to Clipping Coupons.com

Stock Upgrades: April Fools Rush Into Rush Enterprises
No positions in stocks mentioned.
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