Stock Downgrades: Forest Labs, Top S&P 501 Stock of 2014, Finally Felled
Wall Street ratings agencies set the tone for today's stock market.
Freddie (OTCBB:FMCC), irate at seeing his stock price slashed 26.81%, revived an unwelcome Nightmare on Elm Street. Over on 42nd Street, President Obama tied up traffic and sent The Gap (NYSE:GPS) gaping down 0.45%. By contrast, nothing as exciting occurred on Wall Street, where the Dow (INDEXDJX:.DJI) dropped slightly on a desultory trading day. Billionaire Bill Ackman owns quite a bit of Freddie, but he will be happier with Herbalife (NYSE:HLF) having slimmed down to the tune of 1.16% after hosting a presentation on the purported pyramid scheme. In a tireless presentation that started at 2:00 p.m. and didn't end until 4:14, the money quote may have been when the billionaire said, "If you talk to any nutritionist they'll tell you it's not a good way to lose weight." As an Iowa man can freshly attest, it is infinitely easier to do that at McDonald's (NYSE:MCD), whose 3.76% advance accorded it the highly unusual honor of topping the entire S&P 500 Index (INDEXSP:.INX). If Herbalife will tell you it isn't easy being green, Dublin eyes were smiling over in the Emerald Isle. Bank of Ireland (NYSE:IRE) gained 3.51% after being boosted by a Merrill Lynch unit of Bank of America (NYSE:BAC) that was long known as the "Irish mafia" among Wall Street's snootier citizens. Ireland, alas, isn't about to forgive the financial firm any time soon.
It's another quite quiet day in economic data but corporate earnings announcements are expected out of Express Inc (NYSE:EXPR), Krispy Kreme (NYSE:KKD), Vail Resorts (NYSE:MTN), and Williams-Sonoma (NYSE:WSM).
American Eagle Outfitters (NYSE:AEO): Morgan Stanley moves the stock to Underweight from Equal Weight.
American International Group (NYSE:AIG): Concerned about AIG's lofty expenses, Deutsche Bank lowers this poster child for the financial crisis to Hold from Buy.
AmerisourceBergen (NYSE:ABC): Goldman Sachs slashes the stock to Neutral from Buy.
Church & Dwight (NYSE:CHD): The maker of Trojan condoms and Arm & Hammer baking soda is now Neutral from Outperform at Credit Suisse.
Clean Harbors (NYSE:CLH): RBC Capital cuts the company to Outperform from Top Pick with an amended price objective of $58. A lack of organic growth is cited, among other issues.
Diamondrock Hospitality (NYSE:DRH): Bank of America-Merrill Lynch downgrades DRH to Underperform from Neutral.
Forest Laboratories (NYSE:FRX): After Tuesday's announcement about the treatment of Google's (NASDAQ:GOOG) assorted share classes, the storied S&P 500 Index (INDEXSP:.INX) will, if only eventually and technically, actually contain 501 entries. Forest Labs has been its top stock of 2014, but today it is taken to Neutral from Overweight at Piper Jaffray.
FuelCell Energy (NASDAQ:FCEL): Shares, fresh from falling 16.54% yesterday, are currently imploding another 8.54%. This, after getting cut to Market Perform from Outperform at Cowen.
Geron (NASDAQ:GERN): The biotech, sliding some 61.82% as we speak, is now Neutral from Overweight at Piper Jaffray.
Homebuilders: PulteGroup (NYSE:PHM) and Toll Brothers (NYSE:TOL) are each now Neutral from Outperform at Credit Suisse.
Liberty Ventures (NASDAQ:LVNTA): Citigroup lowers the equity to Neutral from Buy.
Motorola Solutions (NYSE:MSI): Shares get slashed to Sell from Neutral at Goldman Sachs.
Northwest Biotherapeutics (NASDAQ:NWBO): NWBO is now Perform from Outperform at Oppenheimer.
Synta Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ:SNTA): SNTA is cut to Sell from Hold at Stifel, which has concerns over its Ganetespib trials.
Urban Outfitters (NASDAQ:URBN): The stock, which fell 4.27% yesterday, is off another 1.98% at the moment after getting downgraded to Equal Weight from Overweight by Barclays.
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