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Stock Downgrades: When It Rains, It Pours for Citigroup

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

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Walt Disney (NYSE:DIS), currently celebrating the 50th anniversary of "It's a Small World After All," wasn't the only one on Wall Street left cursing that fact on Wednesday. The blue chip dropped 1.17%, dragging Dow Industrials (INDEXDJX:.DJI) down with it, as events by the far-flung Black Sea again loomed large even as President Obama set foot on Flanders Fields. As Neville Chamberlain, architect of appeasement, opined in 1938, "How horrible, fantastic, incredible it is that we should be digging trenches and trying on gas masks here because of a quarrel in a faraway country between people of whom we know nothing." Facebook (NASDAQ:FB) fell 6.94% after buying a virtual reality company that hides your eyes. Maybe that's not such a bad thing, after the ocularly challenged Candy Crush Saga owner King Digital Entertainment (NYSE:KING) slid 15.56% on its public debut. Mark Zuckerberg clearly sees wearable technology as the future, but he would have a happier time of it by instead embracing the past. After all, Movado Group (NYSE:MOV), whose watches are so old-hat they belong in a museum, surged 10.18% amid all the red ink.
 
Today in economics, pending home sales for February are expected to contract from the prior month's pace at 10:00 a.m. Eastern. In earnings action, expect announcements out of Accenture (NYSE:ACN), Lululemon Athletica (NASDAQ:LULU), and Signet Jewelers (NYSE:SIG).
 
BlackBerry (NASDAQ:BBRY): Shares are slashed to Sell from Hold at Societe Generale, which cites a steep valuation following its stellar recent run.
 
CECO Environmental (NASDAQ:CECE): FBR Capital cuts the company to Perform from Outperform with a price objective of $17 amid a lack of immediate upside potential.
 
Citigroup (NYSE:C): Citigroup sold its iconic umbrella in 2007, ironically enough a mere months before it was soaked by a Meredith Whitney-inflicted deluge. The bank certainly no longer reigns supreme, with its stock falling 5.90% as we speak after failing another Fed stress test. Keefe Bruyette, whose bank research team is highly regarded on Wall Street, cuts the company to Market Perform from Outperform. Its price objective, previously $58, gets slashed by $6. Sanford Bernstein (Perform from Outperform) adds to the agony.
 
Deutsche Telekom (OTCMKTS:DTEGY): The stock is now Neutral from Outperform by BNP Paribas.
 
Five Star Quality Care (NYSE:FVE): JMP Securities moves the senior living operator to Perform from Outperform, sending it sinking 6.41% ahead of the open.

Also see:

New Stock Coverage: Biotechs Anemic? Amgen Is Tougher Than Iron

Stock Upgrades: Mr. Market, an Aging Bull, Needs the Grey Lady

No positions in stocks mentioned.
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