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Stock Downgrades: Mattel's Misery Is Beyond Even Barbie's Ken


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

Low, low Jones, indeed. Dow Jones Industrials (INDEXDJX:.DJI) fell downhill faster than Lolo Jones in a bobsled, tumbling to their lowest level since November 7, 2013 on Friday in wrapping up a miserable first month of 2014. Some stocks did buck a brutal tape. Facebook (NASDAQ:FB) rose 14.91% to a record, so take that, Princeton! Elsewhere in New Jersey, last night's Super Bowl venue will never now reveal whether it contains the remains of Jimmy Hoffa. However, his Teamsters union did send trucking titan YRC Worldwide (NASDAQ:YRCW) surging 17% after paving the way for its $300 million debt-for-equity swap. Bank of America (NYSE:BAC) teamed up with Bono for a commercial in the big game featuring U2's new song "Invisible." The Irish band's 1983 single "Sunday Bloody Sunday" would surely have been a better bet, since the financial firm's Merrill Lynch unit has endured not one, but two woeful weekends. Pete Seeger, who once yodeled "Wimoweh" in "The Lion Sleeps Tonight," passed away, and Yahoo (NASDAQ:YHOO), whose Marissa Mayer advised Henrique de Castro to "Start practicing your yodel!" on page 13 of his employment contract before firing him after 14 months and $109 million, fell 5%.

Today in economics, January's Institute for Supply Management manufacturing index and December 2013 construction spending data are each released at 10:00 a.m. Eastern. On the earnings front, expect quarterly announcements out of American Capital Agency (NASDAQ:AGNC), Anadarko Petroleum (NYSE:APC), Hartford Financial (NYSE:HIG), Sysco (NYSE:SYY), and Yum Brands (NYSE:YUM).

Apollo Commercial Real Estate (NYSE:ARI): Shares get downgraded to Market Perform from Outperform with Wells Fargo.

Applied Materials (NASDAQ:AMAT): RBC Capital cuts the company to Perform from Outperform. Its price objective, previously $20, gets trimmed by $2.

Bill Barrett (NYSE:BBG): The stock is now Equal Weight from Overweight at Barclays.

Eaton Vance (NYSE:EV): Goldman Sachs slashes the stock to Sell from Neutral. Its target price is also taken lower, to $33 from $45.

Lam Research (NASDAQ:LRCX): LRCX is lowered to Perform from Outperform at RBC Capital, which sees the stock as remaining range-bound for the foreseeable future.

MakeMyTrip (NASDAQ:MMYT): Amid a steep valuation (the stock has better than doubled in the last half year), Oppenheimer cuts the Indian online travel outfit to Perform from Outperform.

MasterCard (NYSE:MA): Shares, which slid 5.12% on Friday, are moved to Market Perform from Outperform at FBR Capital, whose concerns include its relatively high exposure to imploding emerging markets. (Note that the stock scored a separate broker boost at Susquehanna this morning.)

Mattel (NASDAQ:MAT): What is ailing the owner of Barbie? That is indeed beyond our ken at the moment. What we do know is that the stock, which tumbled 12.02% on Friday, is now Neutral from Buy at both B. Riley and SunTrust.

Newmont Mining (NYSE:NEM): HSBC Securities cuts the commodity company, whose shares fell 10.37% on Friday, to Neutral from Overweight.

Royal Dutch Shell (NYSE:RDS.B): Shares are now Neutral from Overweight, again at HSBC.

StanCorp Financial (NYSE:SFG): Goldman Sachs gives the stock a Sell-from-Neutral downgrade.

Zynga (NASDAQ:ZNGA): Bank of America-Merrill Lynch lowers Zynga, which surged 23.60% on Friday even as overall markets slumped, to Underperform from Neutral. It cites acquisition integration, among other risks.

See also:

New Stock Coverage: American Airlines Still Something Special in the Air

Stock Upgrades: Goldman Sachs Gets a Blankfein Check

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