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Stock Downgrades: Kiev Chickens Come Home to Roost for Tyson Foods

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

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Even amid the crisis in Ukraine, Tyson Foods (NYSE:TSN) -- planet Earth's largest processor of chicken, beef, and pork -- was seen as a safe haven. Indeed, shares hit the highest level in their history earlier in April. Tyson has surged 72.01% in the past 12 months alone, but its subsequent excessive valuation is a key factor behind this morning's rating reduction.
 
Brooklyn, where would we be without you? Pfizer (NYSE:PFEhas been Williamsburg trendy since 1849 -- take that, upstart hipsters! -- and yesterday Wall Street rode the pharmaceutical firm's gold rush for all it was worth. The drug giant jumped a Dow (INDEXDJX:.DJI)-best 4.20% on its overtures to analyst darling AstraZeneca (NYSE:AZN), which itself advanced 12.16% to an all-time high. What will really have gotten the goat of Willy B's goatee-wearing millenials was the 1.88% surge in Gillette owner Procter & Gamble (NYSE:PG). It seems that the war on beards is now spreading way beyond China. Brooklyn's creative art-history types looking for a way to pay the borough's increasingly exorbitant rent may want to consider working in finance. Being useless at math isn't any impediment to a career in the industry. Just ask Bank of America (NYSE:BAC), whose stock slid 6.27% in enduring its single worst session since 2012 after uncovering a $30 billion accounting error.
 
It's another full day for first-quarter earnings announcements, with Archer Daniels Midland (NYSE:AMD), Bristol-Myers Squibb (NYSE:BMY), eBay Inc. (NASDAQ:EBAY), and Twitter (NYSE:TWTR) all releasing results.
 
Now let's look at this morning's rating reductions, an eclectic bunch that features a biotech and beverage company plus headline stock Tyson Foods.

Airgas (NYSE:ARG): Shares are now Neutral from Overweight at Atlantic Equities.
 
Anglo American (OTCMKTS:AAUKY): HSBC Securities cuts the commodity company to Neutral from Overweight.
 
Coca-Cola Enterprises (NYSE:CCE): The beverage outfit is now Reduce from Neutral at Nomura. Its price objective, previously $44.50, gets trimmed to $41.
 
Meru Networks (NASDAQ:MERU): William Blair moves MERU to Market Perform from Outperform.
 
OncoGenex Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ:OGXI): Another brutal day for the biotech, which slid 60.31% on Monday. RBC Capital Markets reduces its rating to Perform from Outperform. The target price is also slashed substantially, to $4.50 from $19 after a primary endpoint was not met.
 
Rudolph Technologies (NYSE:RTEC): Amid a high level of earnings uncertainty, Stifel lowers its investment assessment to Hold from Buy.
 
Stage Stores (NYSE:SSI): Shares are now Neutral from Buy at Northcoast.
 
Tyson Foods: BMO Capital Markets takes Tyson to Perform from Outperform.

Also see:

New Stock Coverage: Time to Feast on GrubHub?

Stock Upgrades: Intuitive Surgical Is Out of Intensive Care
No positions in stocks mentioned.
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