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Stock Downgrades: Dr Pepper Snapple Not Worth Its Salt


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

A generation ago the delightfully diminutive Wendy Kaufman stood tall among spokespeople with her star turn as the "Snapple Lady." Alas, Dr Pepper Snapple (NYSE:DPS) may itself soon be sold short after incurring a rating reduction. The beverage behemoth -- whose other brands include A&W, Canada Dry, Hawaiian Punch, Mott's, 7UP, and Schweppes -- has been a stellar performer of late. Indeed its stock hit a historic high only last week. Such a surge has, however, left the valuation stretched, in the estimation of a Citigroup (NYSE:C) analyst.
Marissa Mayer's naps are causing consternation in Cannes -- she clearly needs 40 Blinks -- but much more of this somnambulant action in equities and investors everywhere will soon be slumbering right along with her. The Dow (INDEXDJX:.DJI) and S&P 500 (INDEXSP:.INX) each slipped slightly in lackluster trading activity. Some stocks did try to enliven an otherwise listless tape, not least Yahoo (NASDAQ:YHOO), which moved 1.20% lower. Regeneron Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ:REGN) of Tarrytown, a place put on the map by Sleepy Hollow author Washington Irving, plunged 1.76% in falling for a third straight session. And watchmaker Movado Group (NYSE:MOV) -- surely now on Ms. Mayer's gift list -- jumped 3.45% on a broker boost. Meanwhile, When Its Sleepy Time Down South suited Memphis' own FedEx (NYSE:FDX) just fine as it hit a historic high. Holiday Inn owner Intercontinental Hotels (NYSE:IHG) gained 3.00% to its best level since being spun off in April 2003, the month that a certain statue was toppled. And existing home sales shot up 4.9% for their best increase since August of 2011. If you understandably don't want to be reminded of what happened to the stock market back then, look away now.
Today in economics analysts expect increases in May new-home sales and June consumer confidence, each released at 10:00 a.m. EDT. On the earnings front, Apogee Enterprises (NASDAQ:APOG), Carnival (NYSE:CCL), and Walgreen (NYSE:WAG) all report results.
Now let's look at this morning's rating reductions, an eclectic bunch featuring a German car giant and US discount retailer plus headline stock Dr Pepper Snapple.

Aviva (NYSE:AV): Shares are now Neutral from Buy at UBS.
Cabot Oil & Gas (NYSE:COG): Morgan Stanley moves the stock to Equal-Weight from Overweight.
Covidien (NYSE:COV): COV gets cut to Perform from Outperform at Leerink Partners. (NASDAQ:CTRP): Stifel slashes the stock to Hold from Buy due to a reduction in air ticketing commissions by Air China (OTCMKTS:AIRYY).
Daimler (OTCMKTS:DDAIF): The German car giant gets downgraded to Neutral from Buy at UBS.
Dollar General (NYSE:DG): Goldman Sachs removes the discount retailer from its list of Conviction Buys.
Dr Pepper Snapple: Today's headline equity is taken to Neutral from Buy at Citi.
Intercontinental Exchange (NYSE:ICE): Shares are moved to Market Perform from Outperform with Wells Fargo.
Investment Technology Group (NYSE:ITG): JPMorgan moves its investment assessment to Neutral from Overweight. Its price objective, previously $23, is now $19.
National Retail Properties (NYSE:NNN): Bank of America Merrill Lynch lowers NNN to Neutral from Buy.
Newfield Exploration (NYSE:NFX): KLR Group gives the energy outfit a Hold-from-Accumulate rating reduction.
Tesco (OTCMKTS:TSCDY): The British grocery giant gets downgraded to Neutral from Outperform by BNP Paribas. (NASDAQ:WWWW): Shares are slipping before the bell after getting clipped to Neutral from Buy at B. Riley.
Also see:

New Stock Coverage: Much Like Marissa Mayer, Bed Bath & Beyond Needs a Nap

Stock Upgrades: Wisconsin Energy Brings in Milwaukee Bucks
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