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Stock Downgrades: Bed Bath & Beyond Set to Get Soaked

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

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In light of Washington's utterly insatiable appetite for leaks, it is a minor miracle that the mid-March FOMC meeting -- featuring an astonishing 31 participants, plus a chair, gathered round a table -- stayed such a well-kept secret. It's a good thing it did, however, for otherwise investors would never have enjoyed a triple-digit advance in the Dow (INDEXDJX:.DJI) three weeks later. Yesterday's Janet Yellen-inspired rally also spread to Nasdaq (INDEXNASDAQ:.IXIC), which is now back in positive territory for 2014. As for the S&P 500 Index (INDEXSP:.INX), its top performer was Facebook (NASDAQ:FB) with its 7.25% surge. Just this week, the social-networking name was seen as an old fuddy-duddy by the rich kids of Instagram. (A cohort that is clearly the rare youths who do not do irony, since Mark Zuckerberg also owns Instagram.) Clearly, in the words of Will Shakespeare, "April hath put a spirit of youth in everything." The Bard also said, "A rose by any other name would smell as sweet," and -- on National Name Yourself Day, yet -- Mondelez (NASDAQ:MDLZ), which must regret its moniker, rose 1.01% despite receiving a broker dis. In other analyst action, the babies of E-Trade (NASDAQ:ETFC) enjoyed a 6.01% bounce, but recently surging Calgon (NYSE:CCC) threw the bathwater out with the -- well, you know -- in sinking 1.50%. You know what they say -- after the bubble comes the bath. Just make sure it isn't Bed Bath & Beyond (NASDAQ:BBBY).
 
Today's quarterly earnings announcements are due to include Family Dollar (NYSE:FDO), Pier 1 Imports (NYSE:PIR), and Rite Aid (NYSE:RAD).
 
Akzo Nobel (OTCMKTS:AKZOY): JPMorgan moves the stock to Neutral from Overweight.
 
Bed Bath & Beyond: Shares, slumping some 6.13%% as we speak, get lowered to Neutral from Buy at Bank of America-Merrill Lynch. The retailer issued disappointing guidance for its first-quarter earnings.
 
CF Industries (NYSE:CF): Barclays cuts the fertilizer firm to Equal Weight from Overweight.
 
Imperva (NYSE:IMPV): The application software outfit, imploding 34.43% this morning, is moved to Perform from Outperform at Oppenheimer. Issues include increased competition and weakness in its domestic market.
 
Molson Coors Brewing (NYSE:TAP): Nomura takes brewing behemoth TAP to Neutral from Buy.

Disclosure: Minyanville Media has a business relationship with E-Trade.

Also see:

New Stock Coverage: Don't Be a 'Jony'-Come-Lately on Apple

Stock Upgrades: Sheryl Sandberg's Staying, So Lean Into Facebook
No positions in stocks mentioned.
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