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Stock Downgrades: The Sun'll Come Out Tomorrow for SolarCity, but Today Its Stock Isn't for Orphans


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

Equities ended mixed after Wall Street's money tree was unable to make up its mind between Forrest and Forest. Kim Forrest, senior equity research analyst at Pittsburg's Fort Pitt Capital, summed up the mood of the market in saying, "People don't go out and look at homes in crappy weather." This as a key homebuilder confidence index endured the worst one-month decline in its 29-year history, helping drag down the Dow (INDEXDJX:.DJI). Analyst darling Forest Labs (NYSE:FRX) fared far better however, surging an S&P 500 Index (INDEXSP:.INX)-best 27.52% after being bought. Carl Icahn made a cool $1.7 billion on that drug deal, even as he had to endure his arch enemy Bill Ackman seeing his 9.8% stake in Air Products (NYSE:APD) hit an all-time high. So we'll call it a tie. Which, as the old sports adage says, is "like kissing your sister." (Dear God, please make it stop.) Weight Watchers (NYSE:WTW) fell 5.43% on top of Friday's 27.73% tumble after incurring a rating reduction. This as Kate Upton better demonstrated how weightlessness is done by being photographed in zero gravity.

Today at 2:00 p.m. Eastern, the Federal Open Market Committee releases minutes to its January 29 meeting. In earnings action, Avis Budget (NASDAQ:CAR), Marriott (NYSE:MAR), Six Flags (NYSE:SIX), and Tesla Motors (NASDAQ:TSLA) all release results.

Atlas Pipeline (NYSE:APL): Barclays lowers the limited partnership to Equal Weight from Overweight. Its price objective, previously $41, is now $35.

Calpine Corporation (NYSE:CPN): The electric utility is now Neutral from Buy at UBS, whose target price is $22.

Dollar General (NYSE:DG): DG gets downgraded to Market Perform from Outperform with Wells Fargo.

Essex Property Trust (NYSE:ESS): Cantor Fitzgerald cuts the company to Hold from Buy. Its target is also trimmed, by $5 to $171.

Forest Labs: Shares, no longer trading on fundamentals after being bought for $25 billion by Actavis (NYSE:ACT), are now Neutral from Buy with a $93 objective at Mizuho.

NPS Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ:NPSP): Jefferies reduces its rating to Hold from Buy.

Parkway Properties (NYSE:PKY): The stock is moved to Market Perform from Outperform by BMO Capital Markets, which also trims its target to $19 from $22.

SolarCity (NASDAQ:SCTY): Yesterday shares surged 8.04% to a historic high, and "Tomorrow" it may again delight little orphan Annie. Today, however, this volatile momentum name has absolutely no place in any portfolio for widows and, well -- you know. Robert W. Baird cuts the company, chaired by the omnipresent Elon Musk, to Neutral from Outperform. It says that the risk:reward ratio is now adequately reflected in the present price, and would advise investors wait for a more attractive future entry point before building additional positions.

Valspar (NYSE:VAL): First Analysis Securities slashes the paint and coating powerhouse to Equal Weight from Overweight.

Waste Management (NYSE:WM): Shares, which fell 4.47% yesterday, are today moved to Hold from Buy with Wunderlich. Its price target is also taken lower, by $7 to $45, amid margin pressure in the company's recycling segment.

See also:

New Stock Coverage: Tesla a 21st Century DeLorean? (MV Pro)

Stock Upgrades: Swatch Has Time on Its Side (MV Pro)
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