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Stock Downgrades: JPMorgan Drives the Corner Store Round the Bend

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

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Blame Moscow if you must, but the root cause of the market's stumbles on Monday lay much closer to home. Biotechnology is such a uniquely American industry it was born in our Bicentennial, dating as it does to the famous 1976 founding of Genentech. (That year President Ford lost an incredibly close election by prematurely liberating Poland, something we may soon need to do again if Mr. Putin keeps this up.) Yesterday a 2.76% tumble in the Nasdaq Biotechnology Index (NASDAQ:IBB) dragged Dow Industrials (INDEXDJX:.DJI) and everything else down with it. JPMorgan (NYSE:JPM) gained 1.50% even as its Fang Fang learned to his cost that a nepotism investigation at the bank has real teeth. The brokerage, clearly still wanting to curry favor with Beijing, upgraded pollution powerhouse Yanzhou Coal Mining (NYSE:YZC), yet it still slipped 0.77% as the terrible price of smog became clear. Maroon 5 were on the money when singing that "It's getting harder and harder to breathe." Or, "I can't even breath!" as Kim Kardashian took to Twitter (NYSE:TWTR) to say.
 
Today in economics, new home sales for February and March consumer confidence are each out at 10:00 a.m. Eastern. In earnings action, Carnival Corp (NYSE:CCL), Steelcase (NYSE:SCS), and Walgreen (NYSE:WAG) all release results.
 
ArcelorMittal (NYSE:MT): Kepler cuts the steel stock to Reduce from Hold.
 
AT&T (T): Last week's top Dow (INDEXDJX:.DJI) stock is now Neutral from Overweight at HSBC Securities. Its price objective, previously $39, gets trimmed by $4.
 
BioMarin Pharmaceutical (NASDAQ:BMRN): Amid a brutal time for biotechs, Goldman Sachs pulls the firm from its America's Buy list.
 
Coal CompaniesAlpha Natural Resources (NYSE:ANR) and Arch Coal (NYSE:ACI) each get downgraded to Hold from Buy at Jefferies.
 
Comstock Resources (NYSE:CRK): Shares are lowered to Accumulate from Buy at KLR Group.
 
CST Brands, Inc. (NYSE:CST): The specialty retailer known up until last year as Corner Store Holdings is cut to Neutral from Overweight at JPMorgan, doubtless driving it round the bend. The target is also taken lower, to $30 from $39, and shares are currently slipping some 1.97% as a result.
 
KBR, Inc. (NYSE:KBR): Goldman Sachs gives the technical services stock a Neutral-from-Buy downgrade.
 
Navistar (NYSE:NAV): The trucking titan is now Neutral from Buy at UBS. The target price gets taken to $36 from $44.
 
PulteGroup (NYSE:PHM): Barclays reduces the homebuilder to Underweight from Equal Weight.
 
Spirit AeroSystems (NYSE:SPR): Shares are cut to Underperform from Neutral by Buckingham.
 
Timken (NYSE:TKR): The machine tool stock gets downgraded to Hold From Buy at KeyBanc Capital.

Also see:
 
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No positions in stocks mentioned.
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