Sorry!! The article you are trying to read is not available now.
Thank you very much;
you're only a step away from
downloading your reports.

Stock Downgrades: More Misery for Manchester United


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

Record 20-time English soccer champion Manchester United (NYSE:MANU), known as the "Red Devils," has indeed endured a satanic year. Last season, for the first time in a generation, the club failed to qualify for Europe's elite Champions League competition. An awful campaign concluded with the firing of its manager David Moyes. And yesterday, the team's 85-year-old owner Malcolm Glazer passed away. The new coach, Dutchman Louis van Gaal, is expected to spend like a drunken sailor in an attempt to recapture former glories, but it's exactly such spiraling player outlays that sees the futbol stock suffer a rating reduction today.
History, as the late, great Maya Angelou well knew, tends to rhyme rather than repeat. The poet was present at the very birth of the Clinton boom but, as all Wall Street keeps assuring us, this stock market bubble is nothing like the 1990s. That's true, although not in quite the way they say. Insane moves reminiscent of the early Internet-era are still with us -- witness yesterday's analyst-inspired 10.69% surge in Twitter (NYSE:TWTR) -- but our current economy positively pales in comparison with that of yesteryear. Back then equities were underpinned by a once-in-a-lifetime low of 3.9% unemployment and annual GDP of 4.8%, as baby boomers enjoyed their peak earning power. Contrast this with the anemic "growth" rate announced only an hour ago, and it becomes ever more apparent that the S&P 500's (INDEXSP:.INX) recent record run is a Fed-fueled illusion that will not end well. On a down day for the Dow (INDEXDJX:.DJI), gym giant Nautilus (NYSE:NLS) wasn't fiscally fit as it slid 6.59% on a rating reduction. This, even as a Gotham sports club showed that making fun of Kimye -- much like exercise itself -- never gets old. Swimming against the tide in a sea of red ink were chips and fish, with semiconductor stock Intel (NASDAQ:INTC) and "London Whale" JPMorgan (NYSE:JPM) the top-two blue chips. Over in London, yesterday's salmon-colored Financial Times is today's fish and chips wrapper, but a story in its pages 24 hours ago suggesting that Smith & Nephew (NYSE:SNN) may be bought sent the orthopedic outfit up to a historic high. Staying underwater, "giant vampire squid" Goldman Sachs (NYSE:GS) said Brazil will beat its archival Argentina 3-1 to take the World Cup on home soil. Given the horrific prognostication powers of economists, Buenos Aires can begin celebrating immediately.
Today in 10:00 a.m. EDT economic data, April pending home sales are expected to contract from the prior month's pace. In earnings action, expect announcements out of Abercrombie & Fitch (NYSE:ANF), Costco (NASDAQ:COST), Express Inc. (NYSE:EXPR), Lions Gate Entertainment (NYSE:LGF), and Splunk (NASDAQ:SPLK).
Now let's look at this morning's rating reductions, an eclectic bunch that features a discount retailer and financial firms plus headline stock Manchester United.

Celgene (NASDAQ:CELG): Shares are now Neutral from Overweight at JPMorgan, which also trims its target price by $10 to $170.
Commerzbank (OTCMKTS:CRZBY): Shares of the giant German financial firm are sharply lower in today's European trading on the back of a Neutral-from-Underperform rating reduction by BNP Paribas. Its analysts are troubled by "a more challenging capital path," among other issues.
Credit Suisse (NYSE:CS): Bank of America Merrill Lynch lowers its fellow financial firm to Neutral from Buy.
Dollar General (NYSE:DG): The stock gets downgraded to Neutral from Buy at Sterne Agee.
DSW Inc. (NYSE:DSW): A little late, perhaps, in light of yesterday's 27.37% tumble, but today Susquehanna slashes the designer shoe warehouse to Neutral from Positive.
Hershey Foods (NYSE:HSY): Argus cuts the chocolate king to Hold from Buy on account of an uncertain outlook.
HomeAway (NASDAQ:AWAY): JPMorgan moves its investment assessment to Neutral from Buy. Its price objective, previously $49, falls by $11.
Manchester United: Today's headline rating reduction is now Neutral from Overweight at JPMorgan. The price target is also taken lower, to $17.50 from $18.90.
New Jersey Resources (NYSE:NJR): Due to valuation concerns, Brean Capital downgrades the company to Hold from Buy.

Also see:

New Stock Coverage: Sabre Continues Rattling Cages

Stock Upgrades: The Beat Goes On at Apple
< Previous
  • 1
Next >
No positions in stocks mentioned.
The information on this website solely reflects the analysis of or opinion about the performance of securities and financial markets by the writers whose articles appear on the site. The views expressed by the writers are not necessarily the views of Minyanville Media, Inc. or members of its management. Nothing contained on the website is intended to constitute a recommendation or advice addressed to an individual investor or category of investors to purchase, sell or hold any security, or to take any action with respect to the prospective movement of the securities markets or to solicit the purchase or sale of any security. Any investment decisions must be made by the reader either individually or in consultation with his or her investment professional. Minyanville writers and staff may trade or hold positions in securities that are discussed in articles appearing on the website. Writers of articles are required to disclose whether they have a position in any stock or fund discussed in an article, but are not permitted to disclose the size or direction of the position. Nothing on this website is intended to solicit business of any kind for a writer's business or fund. Minyanville management and staff as well as contributing writers will not respond to emails or other communications requesting investment advice.

Copyright 2011 Minyanville Media, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
Featured Videos