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Stock Downgrades: It's Open Season on Citigroup


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

Vladimir Putin, proud son of Saint Petersburg, just ditched his Babushka doll. Meanwhile Moscow-born Sergey Brin -- more of a dictator than the aforementioned ex-KGB chief ever was -- is similarly splitting up Google (NASDAQ:GOOG). And yet, even as Ms. Paltrow opts to join the gruesome twosome by "consciously uncoupling," we steadfastly refuse to separate from Mr. Market. Thus it was that the S&P 500 Index (INDEXSP:.INX) hit its eighth record of the year, or the number of ivies that boy wonder was just accepted to. (Fair play to the kid, but he could never get into Walmart (NYSE:WMT)). Among stocks on the move, IntercontinentalExchange (NYSE:ICE) jumped 3.70% as the Investors' Exchange profiled by Michael Lewis continued to suck up all the oxygen. The Flash Boys are certainly sexy. In fact, but for an alert employee, the outfit's website was to be That would have been another book entirely.
Today in economics, March's Institute for Supply Management services index is expected to tick up from February's pace at 10:00 a.m. Eastern. On the earnings front, Global Payments (NYSE:GPN) and Micron Technology (NASDAQ:MU) each release results.
BB&T Corporation (NYSE:BBT): Raymond James reduces its recommendation to a still relatively upbeat Outperform from Strong Buy.
Broadcom (NASDAQ:BRCM): Shares are now Neutral from Overweight at Piper Jaffray.
CF Industries (NYSE:CF): Citigroup cuts the fertilizer firm to Neutral from Buy.
Cheniere Energy (NYSEMKT:LNG): The energy outfit gets taken to Neutral from Outperform at Credit Suisse. Its amended price objective is $65.
Citigroup (NYSE:C): The hits keep on coming for Citigroup, which was the victim of multiple downgrades last week. Today Sterne Agee slashes stock in its fellow financial firm to Neutral from Buy amid concerns over another Fed stress test debacle.
CSX Corp (NYSE:CSX): Barclays cuts CSX to Equal Weight from Overweight. The target price is also trimmed, by $2 to $30.
Deutsche Bank (NYSE:DB): Shares in the German giant are gapping down more than 1% in today's European trading after an Overweight-from-Neutral rating reduction at JP Morgan. Concerns include Deutsche's "relatively tight capital position."
Marcus Corp (NYSE:MCS): B. Riley & Co. moves MCS to Neutral from Buy.
Norfolk Southern (NYSE:NSC): The transport name is now Neutral from Overweight at Atlantic Equities.
Solvay (OTCMKTS:SVYZY): UBS downgrades the pharmaceutical firm to Neutral from Buy.
Vivus (NASDAQ:VVUS): Shares in the provider of weight loss products get clipped to, well, Underweight from Neutral at Piper Jaffray.

Also see:

New Stock Coverage: X Marks the Sweet Spot for Xilinx

Stock Upgrades: Citigroup Says OpenTable Is a Table-Pounding Buy
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