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Stock Downgrades: The Medicines Company Stuck in Sickbed


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

Call it dumb luck, but the smart money always seems to fall hard for April Fools' Day. The S&P 500 Index (INDEXSP:.INX), which has risen roughly 68% of the time on April 1, advanced to a fresh best again yesterday. (Alas, amid all the fun and games, an extremely ill-advised court jester on Capitol Hill mocked the Shakespearean tragedy going on at General Motors (NYSE:GM).) April fools rushed in to Rush Enterprises (NASDAQ:RUSHA), which rode a broker boost to jump 3.66%. It ended at a historic high. As, indeed, did Alaska Air (NYSE:ALK), which admirably shrugged off Putin's fools "Russian in." "The Last Frontier" state is thus in good shape, and (NASDAQ:PCLN) -- home of Captain Kirk's "final frontier," is likewise. It surged 4.99% despite picking yesterday, or all days, to change its name. Twenty-First Century Fox (NASDAQ:FOXA), up 3.35%, would never have been so named had not the sadly departed Shirley Temple saved its predecessor at the tender age of six. Also bidding us goodbye -- and good riddance, in the eyes of many -- was a disgraced financier who brought down the savings and loan industry by selling worthless junk bonds. Elsewhere in fixed income, an already-bad situation has now become totally Gross.
Today in economics, factory orders for February are expected to tick up from the prior month's pace at 10:00 a.m. Eastern. On the earnings front, Monsanto (NYSE:MON) released results earlier this morning.
ArcelorMittal (NYSE:MT): The steelmaker's stock is tumbling 2.27% today after being taken to Neutral from Outperform at Credit Suisse, whose concerns include a "lack of earnings momentum." Its price objective, previously $20, is trimmed by $3.
Edison International (NYSE:EIX): Shares get downgraded to Hold from Buy at Argus due to an excessive valuation.
Essex Property (NYSE:ESS): Goldman Sachs slashes the stock to Neutral from Buy.
Healthstream (NASDAQ:HSTM): The company is cut to Market Perform at Northland Capital, which cites the overhang and uncertainty of its ICD-10 delay.
Imperial Oil (NYSEMKT:IMO): Bank of America-Merrill Lynch lowers the energy name to Underperform from Neutral.
Nordion (NYSE:NDZ): NDZ is now Hold from Buy at Canaccord Genuity.
The Medicines Company (NASDAQ:MDCO): The stock, which fell 15.48% yesterday, is moved to Neutral from Overweight at Piper Jaffray. A court ruling regarding rival Hospira's (NYSE:HSP) blood thinner remains a real concern.

Also see:

New Stock Coverage: 57 Cents Could Cost General Motors Billions

Stock Upgrades: Intuitive Surgical Rides the Rise of the Robots
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