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Stock Downgrades: No Broth Stock for You -- Campbell Soup Shares a Tough Sell in Summer


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

Campbell Soup (NYSE:CPB) stock is slumping 1.92% on this sweltering July day after being slashed to "Sell" -- a four-letter word that is rarely ever uttered in Wall Street research departments. The company, due to host an equity analyst meeting on July 22, has had the kitchen sink thrown at it of late amid changing tastes and cutthroat private label competition.
The New Yorker, beloved of literary sorts since the middle of the Roaring Twenties, is an unlikely agenda-setter for financial types. But with more obvious magazines including The Economist and Wall Street Journal having lately hexed everyone from Lionel Messi to Mr. Neymar with cover curses, why not look elsewhere for inspiration? Thus it was that a publication more readily associated with Algonquin Round Tables than Federal Reserve Chairs sent Dow Industrials (INDEXDJX:.DJI) back above 17,000 after market-friendly comments in its pages from Janet Yellen. (Dorothy Parker, who once opined that "The two most beautiful words in the English language are 'check enclosed,'" would doubtless have approved of yesterday's display of unfettered capitalism.) Bourses were boosted by a 3.02% jump in Citigroup (NYSE:C), a bank whose "Live Richly" advertising campaign disingenuously suggested that bringing in bucks was the furthest thing on its mind. One slogan especially -- "if you gave up your morning coffee for a year, you could make an extra mortgage payment, but man, you'd be grumpy" -- has not aged at all well after yesterday's news. Another, however -- "money is not worth loving, unless you're talking about those little chocolate coins" -- suddenly looks a lot less foolish after Lindt splashed some serious cash to buy Russell Stover of Forrest Gump fame. A Pawn Star has clearly stayed away from life's little "box of chocolates" in shedding 192 pounds but payday lender Cash America International (NYSE:CSH) took the slimming down a little too literally after falling 4.29% amid all the green ink elsewhere. And gold tumbled 2.3% in its steepest slide of the year. A penny for the thoughts of Germany, as it brings an 18-carat trophy back to Berlin today while being forced to wait a suspiciously long time to get its bullion back from Uncle Sam.
Today in economics, May business inventories are out at 10:00 a.m. EDT. On the quarterly earnings front, blue chip corporate quartet Goldman Sachs (NYSE:GS), Johnson and Johnson (NYSE:JNJ), JPMorgan (NYSE:JPM), and Intel (NASDAQ:INTC) all release results.
Now let's look at this morning's rating reductions, an eclectic bunch featuring an entertainment outfit and printing powerhouse, plus headline stock Campbell Soup.

Campbell Soup: Today's headline downgrade gets slashed to Sell from Neutral at Goldman Sachs. Its price objective, previously $41, is also trimmed by $2.
Credicorp (NYSE:BAP): JPMorgan moves the stock to Neutral from Overweight. The target price also gets taken lower, to $175 from $173.
El Paso Pipeline (NYSE:EPB): The limited partnership is lowered to Neutral from Buy at Citigroup.
Kellogg (NYSE:K) Goldman cuts the cereal stock to Sell from Neutral primarily on account of soft sales. Its objective is now $59, down from $64.
Lexmark (NYSE:LXK): Sanford Bernstein slashes the printing equity to Underperform from Perform.
Maxim Integrated (NASDAQ:MXIM): MXIM gets moved to Equal Weight from Overweight by Barclays.
Time Warner (NYSE:TWX): Evercore takes the entertainment empire to Equal Weight from Overweight with an objective of $75.

Also see:

New Stock Coverage: Will Yahoo Pass Today's Bar Exam?

Stock Upgrades: Twitter Still Scores Even After World Cup
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