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Stock Downgrades: It's Time for Groupon to Face the Music


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

The Pope railed against capitalism last week but, with the tomb of Vladimir Lenin invaded by the last name in luxury, and Cuba building communism-free zones to woo big business, it may be a losing battle. The Dow (INDEXDJX:.DJI) and S&P 500 Index (INDEXSP:.INX), each now up for eight straight weeks, rose to records as the recent irrational exuberance in US stock markets continued unabated. The Vatican Bank actually contains a cool $4 billion in cash but, Joseph A. Bank (NASDAQ:JOSB), up 13.38% in five days, is equally profitable. Men's Wearhouse (NYSE:MW) tried to march down the aisle with it and, whatever your views on such non-traditional weddings, it's all bling for Tiffany (NYSE:TIF), with the wedding-ring king rising 9.9% to a fresh best. What a difference Today makes? Try two decades. In 1994, Katie Couric responded to a befuddled Bryant Gumbel's on-air inquiry "What is Internet" by explaining "Internet is uh, that massive computer network. The one that's becoming really big now." In 2013, Katie Couric took a job at Internet portal Yahoo (NASDAQ:YHOO).

In terms of economic events that may move US markets today, September and October construction spending, along with November's Institute for Supply Management manufacturing index, are all released at 10:00 a.m. Eastern. Regarding specific stocks, expect earnings announcements out of Ascena Retail Group (NASDAQ:ASNA), Cooper Tire & Rubber (NYSE:CTB), Krispy Kreme Doughnuts (NYSE:KKD), Shoe Carnival (NASDAQ:SCVL), and Thor Industries (NYSE:THO).

3M Company (NYSE:MMM): 3M Company, a key Dow member, is downgraded to Underweight from Equal-Weight at Morgan Stanley. Brands made by 3M Company include Post-its.

Dover Corp (NYSE:DOV): Morgan Stanley moves the stock to Equal-Weight from Overweight.

Fidelity Southern (NASDAQ:LION): Keefe Bruyette cuts to the company to Perform from Outperform.

Groupon (NASDAQ:GRPN): Groupon's ex-CEO Andrew Mason studied piano, was a music major at Northwestern, and even released an album after getting fired. Alas, it may be time for his former employer to face the music. Groupon stock is tumbling some 2.87% as I write this article after getting downgraded to Neutral from Buy at Goldman Sachs. The bank cites valuation issues after a 99.34% advance in the stock over the past year.

OpenTable (NASDAQ:OPEN): Shares are now Neutral from Buy at Goldman.

Petróleo Brasileiro (NYSE:PBR): Citigroup cuts the Latin energy giant, better known as Petrobras, to Neutral from Buy.

Sprint (NYSE:S): Sprint is now Neutral from Outperform at Macquarie. Stock in Sprint tumbled 2.26% on Friday.

Tesco (OTCMKTS:TSCDY): The British grocer is lower in London today after getting taken to Underweight from Neutral at HSBC Securities, whose concerns center on margin erosion.

Time Warner (NYSE:TWX): Shares are now Neutral from Buy at Guggenheim.

Travelers (NYSE:TRV): Goldman downgrades the Dow component to Neutral from Buy.

Trulia (NASDAQ:TRLA): The online real estate firm gets reduced to Neutral from Buy at Goldman Sachs.

Urban Outfitters (NASDAQ:URBN): The clothing company is cut to Neutral from Buy at Sterne Agee.

(See also: New Stock Coverage: Analysts Talk Turkey With Twitter's Bluebird and Stock Upgrades: Untold Riches in eBay's Attic)
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