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Stock Downgrades: Trouble Brewing in the BlackBerry Patch

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

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Markets and mercury both reached fresh peaks last week, with New York temperatures topping out at a record 71 degrees for yesterday's first full day of winter. Thus does the S&P 500 Index (INDEXSP:.INX) stand on the brink of its best year since 1998, back when 98 Degrees ruled the radio. That was the year Henry Blodget made a career by announcing Amazon.com (NASDAQ:AMZN) would hit $400 within 12 months; on Friday, its split-adjusted shares finally did. 1998 was also when Pfizer's (NYSE:PFE) iconic little blue pill was approved, and last week it inked an agreement for a generic version of Viagra. (Alas, it was tough getting investors to stand at attention, what with so much else going on in equities.) Herbalife (NYSE:HLF), which Bill Ackman intends to haunt to the "end of the Earth" surged 17.89% to a historic high but Mr. End of the World sadly didn't live to see it. If Camping can no longer go camping in a Winnebago (NYSE:WGO) that may be for the best, after its stock fell 15.9%.

It's slim pickings for earnings announcements at the start of this holiday-shortened week, but Mechel Steel (NYSE:MTL) released results earlier this morning. In terms of economic events that may move US stock markets today, the University of Michigan's final figure for December consumer confidence is predicted to improve from its preliminary pace at 9:55 a.m. Eastern.

BlackBerry (NASDAQ:BBRY): It may be back down to Earth for BlackBerry today, which surged some 15.52% on Friday. This morning Hudson Square slashes the stock to Sell from Hold.

Coleman Cable (NASDAQ:CCIX): BB&T Capital Markets cuts Coleman Cable stock to Hold from Buy. The shares are no longer trading on fundamentals following an acquisition offer.

Micron Technology (NASDAQ:MU): The maker of DRAM (Dynamic Random-Access Memory) memory chips gets lowered to Underperform from Neutral by Bank of America-Merrill Lynch. As a result, Micron Technology stock is currently tumbling 3.02% in today's pre-market trading.

Navios Maritime Partners (NYSE:NMM): JPMorgan moves the limited partnership to Neutral from Overweight.

Responsys (NASDAQ:MKTG): Application software outfit Responsys gets reduced to Neutral from Outperform at Credit Suisse. Shares surged 40.34% on Friday after being bought by Oracle (NASDAQ:ORCL) for $1.5 billion.

(See also: New Stock Coverage: Extended Stay America Has Room at the Inn This Christmas and Stock Upgrades: Fall Head Over Heels for Skullcandy)
No positions in stocks mentioned.
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