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Stock Downgrades: Manic Monday for Prozac Maker Eli Lilly


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

Thanks to a mountain bluebird, US markets scaled new summits, even as we mourned the man who coined the term "fiscal cliff." Twitter (NYSE:TWTR) jumped 60% in two trading sessions as the Dow (INDEXDJX:.DJI), now up for five straight weeks, reached fresh records. The Gap (NYSE:GPS) gained 13% on its impressive October same-store sales. Its Forth And Towne division - whose F.A.T. acronym was truly unfortunate, especially as its target market was increasingly plump baby boomers - has long since been consigned to history. Abercrombie & Fitch (NYSE:ANF), however, is now going after a bigger demographic; its shares promptly shed 6.9%. Standard & Poor's, which can never eat enough alphabet soup, cut France's credit rating to AA from AA+. Moving from French letters to, well, French letters, the world's largest condom maker went public. (And if, in the coy formulation of British chemists, you do indeed require "Something for the weekend sir?" you are in luck, for the Postal Service is about to deliver Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) packages on Sundays.) Tesla Motors (NASDAQ:TSLA), which fell 15%, is now sensibly opting to diversify into the tank business. Speaking of tanks, Italian arms outfit Finmeccanica (OTCMKTS:FINMY) imploded 4.8%. How terribly sad that we still haven't said a farewell to arms makers, exactly 95 years to the day - on the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month - that "the war to end all wars" came to a close.

There is no economic data due today that may move US markets, and both banks and the bond markets are closed in observance of Veterans Day. Regarding specific stocks, expect quarterly earnings announcements out of Arkansas Best (NASDAQ:ABFS), Cooper Tire (NYSE:CTB), Hologic (NASDAQ:HOLX), GSV Capital (NASDAQ:GSVC), News Corp (NASDAQ:NWSA), Nordic American Tanker (NYSE:NAT), Rackspace (NYSE:RAX), and Sotheby's (NYSE:BID).

AGCO Corporation (NYSE:AGCO): Goldman Sachs slashes the construction machinery company to Sell from Neutral.

Associated British Foods (OTCMKTS:ASBFY): It's enough to make potty-mouthed Scottish chef Gordon Ramsay turn the air blue, as the English cuisine company gets downgraded to Equal Weight from Overweight by Barclays.

British Sky Broadcasting (OTCMKTS:BSYBY): Shares are now Reduce from Buy at Nomura after BT Group (NYSE:BT) stole away its European soccer rights. (Citigroup, however, says we "would see significant weakness as an opportunity to buy the shares.")

Deutsche Telekom (OTCMKTS:DTEGY): The stock is now Sell from Neutral at Goldman.

Diodes (NASDAQ:DIOD): Raymond James reduces its rating to Outperform from Strong Buy.

Eli Lilly (NYSE:LLY): Pharmaceutical firm Eli Lilly gets slashed to Sell from Neutral at Goldman Sachs. Speak of the devil - over the past year, Eli Lilly shares have returned investors exactly 6.66%. Goldman's principal concern relates to the relative thinness of Eli Lilly's drug pipeline, and the stock is currently falling 1.48% as a result of the analyst's action.

ITV plc (OTCMKTS:ITVPY): Amid the fútbol fallout impacting both BT Group and British Sky Broadcasting, this English television company is cut to Neutral from Buy.

Lam Research (NASDAQ:LRCX): Lam Research is lowered to Neutral from Positive at Susquehanna. Lam Research is a semiconductor equipment stock.

Penn National Gaming (NASDAQ:PENN): Shares are now Equal Weight from Overweight at Barclays.

Tata Motors (NYSE:TTM): Tata Motors is taken to Neutral from Buy at Nomura. Luxury auto giant Jaguar is among the roster of brands owned by Tata Motors.

Teekay Offshore (NYSE:TOO): Bank of America-Merrill Lynch lowers the limited partnership to Neutral from Buy.

(See also: New Stock Coverage: Can Empire State Realty Trust Be King Kong? and Stock Upgrades: BT Group Will Give Your Portfolio a Kick in the Grass)
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