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Stock Downgrades: American Eagle Laid Low

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

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Early morning, April 4...
- U2, "Pride"
 
Bono's timekeeping was actually a little off, but there is no doubt that Pride came before the fall on 4/4. The S&P 500 Index (INDEXSP:.INX), initially up on the back of a solid employment report, finished Friday with its worst tumble for two months. Some stocks did buck a bad week. Famous Dave's of America (NASDAQ:DAVE) surged 6.59%, this as David Letterman announced his retirement and billionaire David Einhorn -- the unlikeliest of Goliath-slaying Davids, supposedly sticking up for the little guy -- was unconvincingly depicted as an innocent abroad by Michael Lewis. (Truth is, the hedge-fund heavy decidedly does not take prisoners.) Yet the Mets fan may still be better value for money than the Yankees, whose exorbitant payroll started the baseball season with a thoroughly mediocre 3-3 record. Bronx-born Lloyd Blankfein, who once sold peanuts at The House That Ruth Built, got another blank check. Meanwhile General Motors (NYSE:GM), which could have avoided its current calamity by shelling out peanuts, took to Capitol Hill for a tawdry apology tour.
 
This afternoon in economic data, consumer credit for February is expected to expand from the prior month's pace at 3:00 p.m. Eastern. It's quite a quiet session for quarterly earnings announcements, but Alcoa (NYSE:AA) unofficially ushers in first-quarter reporting season when it releases results after the close of trading tomorrow.
 
Ann Inc. (NYSE:ANN): The clothing company formerly known as Ann Taylor gets downgraded to Perform from Outperform at Oppenheimer due to an excessive valuation.
 
American Eagle Outfitters (NYSE:AEO): Cowen cuts the apparel outfit to Underperform from Perform.
 
Anadarko Petroleum (NYSE:APC): Shares are clipped to Accumulate from Buy at KLR Group, whose price objective is $114.
 
Avago Technologies (NASDAQ:AVGO): Goldman Sachs pulls the equity from its list of Conviction Buys.
 
Burberry (OTCMKTS:BURBY): Shares in the British luxury firm are trading down in London today, this after being cut to Hold from Buy at Berenberg. Adverse currency issues are cited.
 
C.R. Bard (NYSE:BCR): Bank of America-Merrill Lynch lowers its investment assessment to Neutral from Buy.
 
DR Horton (NYSE:DHI): Homebuilder DHI gets downgraded to Underperform from Perform at Raymond James.
 
Kennametal (NYSE:MKT): The stock is moved to Underperform from Neutral by Bank of America-Merrill.
 
Mattel (NASDAQ:MAT): After competitor Hasbro's (NASDAQ:HASrating reduction on Friday, Mattel is this morning moved to Underperform from Market Perform by BMO Capital.
 
Rowan Companies (NYSE:RDC): Morgan Stanley slashes the oil services outfit to Underweight from Equal Weight.

Also see:

New Stock Coverage: American Airlines Flies High
 
Stock Upgrades: Rocket Fuel Set to Soar

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No positions in stocks mentioned.
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