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Stock Downgrades: Zuck, What's Up? Not Facebook Stock, That's for Sure


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

While ice fell from one World Trade Center, stocks fell on nearby Wall Street, which is now owned by ICE. This, even as a seller of ice rose in spectacular style -- welcome to the wild winter of 2014. Thus did the Dow (INDEXDJX:.DJI) drop for a second straight session despite a 40.31% surge in diamond wedding ring king Zale Corp (NYSE:ZLC). (Love; it apparently exists even in Antarctica.) If all this going down on one knee to propose makes one prone to arthritis, unfortunately I have to inform you that US Physical Therapy (NYSE:USPH) fell 4.27%. Chiropractors fear not, however, for Facebook (NASDAQ:FB) hit a historic high hours before buying what one respected news organization called an incredibly valuable "massaging service" for a staggering $16 billion. "Massaging" was evidently a typo. The preposterous price tag was not. Mark, text me. We really need to talk.

Today's financial reports include the Philadelphia Fed for February and last month's leading economic indicators, each out at 10:00 a.m. Eastern. On the earnings front, we get announcements out of Groupon (NASDAQ:GRPN), Hewlett-Packard (NYSE:HPQ), Priceline (NASDAQ:PCLN), and Wal-Mart (NYSE:WMT).

Adidas (OTCMKTS:ADDYY): HSBC Securities slashes the German sneaker stock to Neutral from Buy.

America Movil (NYSE:AMX): The telecom company, controlled by a Mexican billionaire whose surname is Slim, is cut to "Underweight" from Equal Weight by Barclays. Whether Carlos sees the funny side is open to debate.

Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL): This week there has been much talk about Apple Inc. possibly combining with Tesla Motors (NASDAQ:TSLA), but today both get downgraded. The tech titan is taken to Equal Weight from Overweight by Barclays.

Brandywine Realty (NYSE:BDN): Cantor Fitzgerald cuts the stock to Hold from Buy. Its price objective is $14.50.

Facebook: Shares, tumbling some 2.15% as we speak after buying text-messaging service WhatsApp for $16 billion, are downgraded by both Evercore (Equal Weight from Overweight at Evercore) and Pivotal Research (Hold from Buy with a $66 target price.)

Fresh Market (NASDAQ:TFM): Deutsche Bank lowers its rating to Hold from Buy.

Garmin (NASDAQ:GRMN): After yesterday's 9.56% surge in its stock, GRMN gets downgraded to Market Perform from Outperform with Wells Fargo.

Henkel (OTCMKTS:HENKY): Canaccord Genuity gives the German glue giant a Hold-from-Buy downgrade.

magicJack VocalTec (NASDAQ:CALL): CALL is cut to Perform from Outperform at Oppenheimer due to valuation concerns.

Royal Bank of Scotland (NYSE:RBS): Investec reduces RBS to Sell from Hold.

Tesla Motors: The Germans, who know a thing or two about autos, are cutting this cult car company. Its surging shares, which received a decidedly iffy analyst initiation yesterday, today get taken to Hold from Buy with a $220 target at Deutsche Bank. Valuation issues are an understandable concern, with the equity trading at historic highs. Still, shares are surging 12.12% today after last night's earnings announcement.

Town Sports International (NASDAQ:CLUB): CLUB is cut to Neutral from Outperform with Wedbush.

Volkswagen (OTCMKTS:VLKAY): Bankhaus Lampe lowers its opinion to Hold from Buy.

Zale: The diamond name, which was just bought, is now Neutral from Buy at Northcoast.

See also:

New Stock Coverage: Want a Quick Buck? Better Make Dough-Eyes at Deere (MVPRO article)

Stock Upgrades: Forget Apple! Applebee's Owner DineEquity Is Where It's At (MVPRO article)
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