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Stock Downgrades: Troubled Times for Kellogg's Tony the Tiger


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

Stocks were the fat cat's whisker's as we began the first full trading week of Movember. US markets moved higher, helped by an analyst-inspired 2.39% advance in Boston Beer (NYSE:SAM), whose hometown heroes have always bean hirsute, and a restructuring-related 0.69% rise in Kellogg (NYSE:K), where the Pringles pitchman has always shunned shaving. The news wasn't all good for Beantown, however. Its duck-loving Red Sox pitcher saw an unloved AFLAC Inc. (NYSE:AFL) go lame, edging off 0.06% even as most other stocks ended up. And America's most Irish city felt sympathy pains as Dublin's own Ryanair (OTCMKTS:RYAAY) nose-dived 9.38% in its worst showing for more than half a decade. The Emerald Isle budget airline is (in)famous for escorting boozy Brits to bachelor parties in Eastern Europe, where they promptly piss off the locals by evacuating their bladders on sacred native monuments. (Hey, it has to happen somewhere, especially in light of Ryanair's preposterous fee-to-pee.) Similarly skipping to the (Water)loo was Ontario's own BlackBerry (NASDAQ:BBRY), which imploded 16.41%. And, speaking of toilets, an ex-equity analyst indelibly associated with rosy-eyed research took to Twitter to, apparently, help get restroom employees canned. Based on the three - no, as of this morning, make that four - bullish buy initiations on Twitter (NYSE:TWTR) - a stock that hasn't even started trading yet - Henry Blodget's ever-optimistic heirs remain alive and well on Wall Street.

In terms of events that may move US markets this morning, today at 10:00 a.m. Eastern, economists call for a fall in The Institute for Supply Management's September services index. Regarding specific stocks, expect quarterly earnings announcements out of AOL Inc. (NYSE:AOL), BMW Group (OTCMKTS:BAMXY), CVS Caremark (NYSE:CVS), LiveNation Entertainment (NYSE:LYV), Michael Kors (NYSE:KORS), Mosaic (NYSE:MOS), OpenTable (NASDAQ:OPEN), Sturm Ruger (NYSE:RGR), Tesla Motors (NASDAQ:TSLA), T-Mobile (NYSE:TMUS), Twenty-First Century Fox (NASDAQ:FOXA), and Zillow (NASDAQ:Z).

BlackBerry (NASDAQ:BBRY): BlackBerry, which fell 16.41% yesterday, is downgraded to Sector Underperform from Sector Outperform at CIBC World Markets. Its price objective is now $5. BlackBerry stock has lost 27.02% in the past year.

Embraer (NYSE:ERJ): UBS downgrades the Brazil-based maker of business jets to Neutral from Buy.

Kellogg (NYSE:K): Cereal company Kellogg gets cut to Hold from Buy at Deutsche Bank. Kellogg is currently embarking on an uncertain restructuring plan, although its stock - up 16.82% since November 2012 - has performed relatively well.

LeapFrog Enterprises (NYSE:LF): LeapFrog stock is nose-diving 9.46% this morning and, adding to its agony, shares are now Neutral from Buy at SunTrust. LeapFrog concerns include potential discounting and disappointing management guidance.

Linn Energy (NASDAQ:LINE): LINE is lowered to Neutral from Buy at Goldman Sachs.

Nissan Motor (OTCMKTS:NSANY): Shares are slashed to Hold from Buy at Deutsche Bank.

Pearson Plc (NYSE:PSO): The Financial Times publisher is now Neutral from Buy at Goldman Sachs.

Rovi Corporation (NASDAQ:ROVI): ROVI gets reduced to Sell from Neutral at Goldman.

Royal Bank of Scotland (NYSE:RBS): BNP Paribas reduces the Edinburgh-based bank to Underperform from Neutral.

Siemens (NYSE:SI): The German industrial giant is now Neutral from Buy at UBS.

St. Jude Medical (NYSE:STJ): Shares are moved to Market Perform from Outperform by Sanford Bernstein.

(See also: New Stock Coverage: Is the New York Times a Paper Tiger? and Stock Upgrades: HSBC Holdings Rides the Asian Tiger)
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