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Stock Downgrades: IBM Sings the Big Blues

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

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Fitch, Mitch, and last ditch - this time history rhymed, but it will repeat all over again early in the new year. For now the Dow (INDEXDJX:.DJI) surged, even as all Uncle Sam did was fund the government until January 15, 2014. Among stocks on the move, Alaska Air (NYSE:ALK) advanced 2.58% on an analyst upgrade even as October 16 appears to be cursed in aviation matters for The Last Frontier. (Yesterday marked 41 years to the day since House Democratic leader Hale Boggs was tragically killed flying over the state, and on the anniversary, one of the firm's jets had to make an emergency landing.) Elsewhere Intel (NASDAQ:INTC) ended up 1.30% despite guiding fourth quarter revenue lower. When it comes to the company's microchips, investors clearly have a thick skin.

Today in economics, analysts call for a fall in October's Philadelphia Fed Index at 10:00 a.m. Eastern. On the quarter earnings front, expect announcements out of Capital One Financial (NYSE:COF), Chipotle Mexican Grill (NYSE:CMG), Goldman Sachs (NYSE:GS), Google (NASDAQ:GOOG), Phillip Morris (NYSE:PM), SABMiller (OTCMKTS:SBMRY), and Verizon (NYSE:VZ).

Amarin (NASDAQ:AMRN): Shares are now Neutral from Overweight at JP Morgan. The stock is slumping some 60% as I write, after a Food and Drug Administration committee voted against the approval of Vascepa.

Bank of America (NYSE:BAC): The bank, which released well-received results yesterday, is today reduced to Outperform from Strong Buy at Raymond James.

Clorox (NYSE:CLX): Morgan Stanley cuts CLX to Underweight from Equal-Weight.

Danone (OTCMKTS:DANOY): Citigroup downgrades the maker of yogurt and much else to Neutral from Buy.

E.ON AG (OTCMKTS:EONGY): The German electric utility giant gets slashed to Sell from Neutral at UBS.

International Business Machines (NYSE:IBM): The key Dow (INDEXDJX:.DJI) component, slumping some 7.24% before the bell after announcing its sixth straight revenue decline, is now Neutral from Buy at UBS.

KB Home (NYSE:KBH): The home builder gets downgraded to Underperform from Perform at Raymond James.

Men's Wearhouse (NYSE:MW): Shares are slashed to Hold from Buy at Stifel.

Omnicom Group (NYSE:OMC): Argus gives the advertising giant a Hold-from-Buy downgrade.

Railroads: CSX Corp (NYSE:CSX) and Norfolk Southern (NYSE:NSC) are each now Sector Perform from Outperform at RBC Capital amid continued coal concerns, among other overhangs.

Select Comfort (NASDAQ:SCSS): The mattress maker, slumping some 26.68% as we speak, gets cut to Hold from Buy at KeyBanc Capital.

Stanley Black & Decker (NYSE:SWK): Morgan Stanley takes the tool titan, which fell 14.26% in yesterday's bull market, to Equal-Weight from Overweight. Barclays (Underweight from Equal Weight) adds to the agony.

Travelers (NYSE:TRV): The insurance outfit, a blue chip stock, gets slashed to Sell from Neutral at Guggenheim.

Xilinx (NASDAQ:XLNX): The semiconductor stock is now Neutral from Overweight at Piper Jaffray.

(See also: New Stock Coverage: SolarCity Is a Musk-Own Stock and Stock Upgrades: Best Buy About to Have a Holly Joly Christmas)
No positions in stocks mentioned.
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