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Stock Downgrades: LeapFrog Is a Total Toad


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

Even as the "Sexiest Woman Alive" saw her main finance man win elected office in New York, Wall Street was struck with an incurable case of Scarlett fever, with stocks snapping a two-session winning streak to end in the red. One can't quibble with Ms. Johansson's figure, but for the European Union, "math" is often a four-letter word. Let's hope that is the case again, for its increased unemployment estimate helped send US markets down, with the Dow (INDEXDJX:.DJI) dropping 20.90 points. (That economically ravaged continent can somehow still spend $255 million on a couple of soccer players but, last night, each did deliver.) Speaking of sums that don't add up, the Royal Bank of Scotland's (NYSE:RBS) new CEO once failed a basic accounting exam. Twice. Yesterday its stock tumbled 2.54% on a ratings reduction. Scarlett's French fiancé gave her quite the diamond bling ring but sapphires are suddenly the best friend of investors everywhere after an upgraded GT Advanced Technologies (NASDAQ:GTAT) gained 20.53% on news it will use the mineral at a new Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) facility.

In terms of events that may move markets this morning, September leading economic indicators are expected to come in essentially unchanged at 10:00 a.m. Eastern. Regarding specific stocks, AngloGold (NYSE:AU), CBS Corp (NYSE:CBS), Duke Energy (NYSE:DUK), Humana (NYSE:HUM), Mondelez International (NASDAQ:MDLZ), Qualcomm (NASDAQ:QCOM), Ralph Lauren (NYSE:RL), Time Warner (NYSE:TWX), Toyota Motor (NYSE:TM), and Whole Foods Market (NASDAQ:WFM) are all due to announce earnings.

Advisory Board (NASDAQ:ABCO): Raymond James reduces its recommendation to Market Perform from Outperform.

AMR Corporation (OTCMKTS:AAMRQ): The parent of American Airlines is now Neutral from Overweight at JPMorgan

Berry Petroleum (NYSE:BRY): Shares get downgraded to Hold from Buy with Wunderlich due to valuation.

Buffalo Wild Wings (NASDAQ:BWLD): Sky-high valuation issues also see Buffalo Wild Wings - up 14.13% last week alone - moved to Hold from Buy at Miller Tabak. Stock in Buffalo Wild Wings yesterday exceeded its $148-per-share price objective.

Expeditors International (NASDAQ:EXPD): Shares get slashed to Neutral from Buy at Goldman Sachs.

Halcon Resources (NYSE:HK): Canaccord Genuity cuts the company to Hold from Buy. Its price target is also trimmed by $1 to $6.

LeapFrog Enterprises (NYSE:LF): Another day, another downgrade for LeapFrog Enterprises, an educational outfit indelibly associated with fabled financier Michael Milken. Citing concerns over holiday sales, Imperial Capital cut LeapFrog Enterprises - whose stock lost 7.96% yesterday - to In-Line from Outperform.

Maxim Integrated (NASDAQ:MXIM): MXIM is moved to Neutral from Buy at SunTrust.

Penn National Gaming (NASDAQ:PENN): The stock, a particularly poor performer over the past year, is now Sector Perform from Outperform at RBC Capital. Its price objective, previously $49, goes to $15 after a real estate spin-off.

Pioneer Natural Resources (NYSE:PXD): Shares are now Neutral from Buy at Sterne Agee.

Red Robin Gourmet Burgers (NASDAQ:RRGB): With the stock trading atop historic highs, Bank of America-Merrill Lynch lowers its rating to Underperform from Neutral.

Solazyme (NASDAQ:SZYM): The stock is now Neutral from Outperform at Credit Suisse.

Tenet Healthcare (NYSE:THC): THC, yesterday's worst S&P 500 (INDEXSP:.INX) stock with an 8.83% implosion, is today taken to Market Perform from Outperform at Wells Fargo.

Unilever (NYSE:UN): Consumer products powerhouse Unilever, whose ubiquitous brands include Ben & Jerry's and Lipton, is now Neutral from Buy at Nomura. Over the past year, stock in Unilever is up 7.40%.

Vivus (NASDAQ:VVUS): The diet drug darling is now Neutral from Buy at Bank of America-Merrill.

ZAGG Inc (NASDAQ:ZAGG): JPMorgan moves the stock to Neutral from Overweight.

(See also: New Stock Coverage: Sick of the Rat Race? Make Some Fast Money in Fairway and Stock Upgrades: T-Mobile Is on the March)
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