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Stock Downgrades: D.R. Horton Hears a Boo After Yesterday's Heroics


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

Constantinople and Casablanca, ably assisted by Oshkosh (NYSE:OSK), came to Wall Street's rescue. An equity-friendly interest rate announcement out of Istanbul, combined with Cliffs Natural Resources (NYSE:CLF) gaining 2.11% after Casablanca Capital took a position, and a 7.96% surge in the truck titan from America's heartland helped snap US stock markets out of their recent skid. With emerging markets imploding a la 17 years ago and Leo reprising his Titanic role with Jonah, it is suddenly 1997 all over again. That year Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL), minutes from bankruptcy, traded at $3.53, so some perspective please, people. It may be utterly unloved once more, and just slid 7.99%, but shares will now set you back $506.50. The company's Super Bowl ad that started all Super Bowl ads just marked a major milestone, and the tech titan remains a much better buy than the gridiron great who shills for Rent-A-Center (NASDAQ:RCII). It tumbled 22.17% in posting easily the Nasdaq's (INDEXNASDAQ:.IXIC) poorest performance. And Abercrombie & Fitch (NYSE:ANF), whose models (and indeed shareholders) long ago lost their shirts, advanced 4.80% after "stripping" its endlessly controversial Mike Jeffries of his Chairman's title. In this weather, he must be mighty cold.

Today in economics, Ben Bernanke concludes his final meeting as head of the Fed at 2:00 p.m. Eastern. On the earnings front, Anglo American (OTCMKTS:AAUKY), Boeing (NYSE:BA), Dow Chemical (NYSE:DOW), EMC Corp (NYSE:EMC), Facebook (NASDAQ:FB), JetBlue Airways (NASDAQ:JBLU), Las Vegas Sands (NYSE:LVS), Marathon Petroleum (NYSE:MRO), Novartis (NYSE:NVS), and Qualcomm (NASDAQ:QCOM) are all due to release results. Now let's turn to today's rating reductions, an interesting array of equities that includes D.R. Horton (NYSE:DHI)...

Air Products & Chemicals (NYSE:APD): The stock, in which billionaire Bill Ackman recently took a large position, is now Neutral from Overweight at Atlantic Equities.

BJ Restaurants (NASDAQ:BJRI): Barclays reduces its rating by an unusual 180 degrees, all the way to Underweight from Overweight.

Digital Realty Trust (NYSE:DLR): DLR gets downgraded to Underperform from Neutral at Macquarie.

D.R. Horton: (Cat in the) Hat tip to Dr. Seuss for today's title. The homebuilder, which jumped an S&P 500 (INDEXSP:.INX)-best 9.84% yesterday, is today taken to Market Perform from Outperform at Keefe Bruyette. Its price objective actually increases, however, to $25 from $23.

Francesca's (NASDAQ:FRAN): Goldman Sachs slashes the stock to Sell from Neutral.

Radware (NASDAQ:RDWR): Shares are lowered to Perform from Outperform at Oppenheimer.

Teradata (NYSE:TDC): TDC gets taken to Sell from Neutral at Goldman.

VimpelCom (NASDAQ:VIP): The tech name, which tumbled 12.81% yesterday, is now Neutral from Overweight with an $11 target price at HSBC Securities.

Yahoo (NASDAQ:YHOO): The stock, sliding some 6.20% this morning, gets cut to Hold from Buy at Gabelli.

See also:

New Stock Coverage: Blackstone's Stephen Schwarzman Set to Party Like It's 2007

Stock Upgrades: Wall Street Looks to Wal-Mart for Lift
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