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Stock Downgrades: Microsoft Has Tech Investors Jumping Out of Windows


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

News came last week that the Hotel Carter, an infamous midtown Manhattan flophouse from the Jimmy Carter era, may soon attract big bucks. Unfortunately there was no such luck for its Times Square neighbor Nasdaq (INDEXNASDAQ:.IXIC), now in desperate need of a new coat of paint after suffering its worst week since 2012. Simon and Garfunkel's plaintive ode to nearby Seventh Avenue was called The Boxer, but it was World Wrestling Entertainment (NASDAQ:BOFI) that suffered most. Shares tumbled 28% even as the sport lost one of its legendsH&R Block (NYSE:HRB), the tax-preparation titan whose own accounting has historically been somewhat spotty, slid 6.3% with tomorrow's deadline looming. Pride of Paris LVMH Moet Hennessy Louis Vuitton (OTCMKTS:LVMUY) jumped 5.7% on the week by the time trading finished at 10:00 p.m. local time on Friday. (At least I think it did; my email to a French contact requesting confirmation of such a strong move in an otherwise awful week went curiously unopened.) And, entering into the spirit of National Siblings Day celebrated by Prince William and HarryCitigroup (NYSE:Cfired Steve Prince, the brother of its ex-CEO.
Today in economics, business inventories for February are out at 10:00 a.m. Eastern. On the corporate front, the first full week of first-quarter earnings commences with JB Hunt Transport (NASDAQ:JBHT) and M&T Bank (NYSE:MTB) releasing results.

Corning (NYSE:GLW): The glassmaker gets cut to Hold from Buy at Stifel.
Enbridge (NYSE:ENB): Shares are now Neutral from Outperform at Credit Suisse.
HeartWare (NASDAQ:HTWR): Goldman Sachs slashes the stock to Sell from Neutral.
Johnson & Johnson (NYSE:JNJ): The Dow (INDEXDJX:.DJI) component is trading lower today after being taken to Hold from Buy at Jefferies on account of an excessive valuation.
Medtronic (NYSE:MDT): JPMorgan moves the medical-device maker to Neutral from Overweight.
Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT): The Windows owner and Dow member, on a strong recent run, is reduced to Hold from Buy at Deutsche Bank.
Millicom International Cellular (OTCMKTS:MIICF): Berenberg lowers its rating to Sell from Hold.
STMicroelectronics (NYSE:STM): Shares are slashed to Sell from Neutral at UBS.
Whole Foods (NASDAQ:WFM): BB&T Capital cuts the gourmet grocer to Hold from Buy.

Also see:

New Stock Coverage: 3D Systems No Longer a License to Print Money

Stock Upgrades: Eli Lilly Coming Up Roses
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No positions in stocks mentioned.
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