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Stock Downgrades: The Wolf of Wall Street? Deckers Outdoor Slumps in Sheep's Clothing


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

The S&P 500 Index (INDEXSP:.INX) rose to a record high after Janet Yellen felt the love. (As indeed did the Fed she heads. A little too literally. With a capital 'L'.) Equities advanced impressively after her much-delayed and market-friendly testimony before the Senate Banking Committee proved worth the wait. Among issues on the move, Pacific Ethanol (NASDAQ:PEIX) surged 65.45% to revive unpleasant memories of the industry's corn-killing, price-gouging fiasco of a few years ago. No comment on that as of yet from proud Cornhusker State son Warren Buffett, now very much a lion in winter at 83. He did, however, give us a tease -- and what a tease it was -- of his annual letter, the full version of which will be mailed tomorrow to mark the month that "comes in like a lion." Lions Gate (NYSE:LGF), producer of Mad Men, looked on enviously as AMC Networks (NASDAQ:AMCX), broadcaster of the show, surged 5.95% to hit a historic high. And Stephen Schwarzman, who once gave $100 million to the "library with the lions" that bears his name, announced on Maria Bartiromo's new show that his Blackstone Group (NYSE:BX) had taken a 20% stake in Italian fashion firm Gianni Versace. Will Leo the lion, created in the Roaring Twenties by a Paramount Pictures art director named -- natch -- Lionel, be celebrating a win for its Wolf of Wall Street come Sunday? We shall see. But he better not dare wear sheep's clothing at the Oscars, based on today's 13.18% tumble in unloved Ugg boots owner Deckers Outdoor (NASDAQ:DECK).

Today's economic data includes the Chicago Purchasing Managers Index at 9:45 a.m. Eastern, the final University of Michigan figure for February consumer confidence at 9:55 a.m., and January pending-home sales at 10:00 a.m. In earnings action, Bayer (OTCMKTS:BAYRY), Berkshire Hathaway (NYSE:BRK.B), Iron Mountain (NYSE:IRM), and 3D Systems (NYSE:DDD) all release results.

Abaxis (NASDAQ:ABAX): Bank of America-Merrill Lynch lowers its investment opinion to Underperform from Neutral.

American Assets Trust (NYSE:AAT): ATT is taken to Perform from Outperform at JMP Securities.

American States Water (NYSE:AWR): Shares are now Neutral from Buy at Janney. Its target price, previously $32, also gets trimmed by $2.

Catamaran (NASDAQ:CTRX): After yesterday's 10.89% tumble, CTRX is cut to Neutral from Buy with a $50 price objective at ISI Group. The profit picture appears to be increasingly cloudy, in the broker's estimation.

Diageo (NYSE:DEO): RBC Capital Market reduces the maker of Guinness and Johnnie Walker to Underperform-from-Sector-Perform amid its doubts about whether targeted cost savings can be achieved.

Deckers Outdoor: As alluded to earlier, the maker of Ugg sheepskin boots gets the boot itself today, taken to Hold from Buy at Jefferies. The target is also substantially reduced, slashed to $75 from $100.

Eagle Rock Energy (NASDAQ:EROC): The limited partnership is lowered to Market Perform from Outperform with Wells Fargo.

Hanesbrands (NYSE:HBI): Stifel cuts the underwear outfit, trading atop all-time highs of late, to Hold from Buy.

InterMune (NASDAQ:ITMN): Shares are now Neutral from Outperform at Credit Suisse.

Isle of Capri (NASDAQ:ISLE): Deutsche Bank cuts the casino company to Hold from Buy.

Pan American Silver (NASDAQ:PAAS): Silver Linings Playbook certainly won't win any Oscars this year. A second downgrade of the week for the commodity company, today taken to Hold from Buy at Deutsche Bank.

Solar Senior Capital (NASDAQ:SUNS): Shares are slashed to Perform from Outperform at JMP Securities.

State Street (NYSE:STT): RBC Capital cuts the company to Perform from Outperform with an amended objective of $68.

The Fresh Market (NASDAQ:TFM): Shares get downgraded to Outperform from Strong Buy at Raymond James.

Tupperware Brands (NYSE:TUP): TUP is taken to Hold from Buy at Argus.

YuMe, Inc. (NYSE:YUME): Citigroup cuts the company to Neutral from Buy.

Zale (NYSE:ZLC): The diamond retailer is now Neutral from Buy, also at Citi.

See also:

New Stock Coverage: Signature Bank Is on the Oscar Envelope (MVPRO article)

Stock Upgrades: The Gap, Outfitter of Sharon Stone at Academy Awards, Gets Its Groove Back (MVPRO article)
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