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Stock Downgrades: Travelers Going Nowhere Fast


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

Key blue-chip component The Travelers Companies (NYSE:TRV) yesterday hit the highest level in its entire history. Investors have been attracted to its strong financial footing and solid dividend yield. However, a resultant rich valuation sees the property-casualty insurer suffer a rating reduction this morning.
On Monday Mr. Jones (INDEXDJX:.DJI), Travelers included, met The Smiths. Stocks did indeed Oscillate Wildly to start the week, endlessly fluctuating between gains and losses in a seesaw before ultimately eking out a small increase. Argentina was even more morose than Morrissey on a Monday morning after a court setback sent the country's Merval Index (BCBA:IMV) tumbling 10.09%. Its incomparable Lionel Messi is a soccer giant at only 5'7″ but investors seriously shorted Buenos Aires-based electric utility Empresa Distribuidora y Comercializadora Norte Cl B ADS (NYSE:EDN) as it fell 14.57%. A penny (or devalued peso) for the thoughts of Argentina's pope after his homeland now has to rob Peter to pay Paul Singer. The pontiff, named after animal-loving Saint Francis of Assisi, would at least have enjoyed Bluebird Bio (NASDAQ:BLUE) jumping 32.08% to top all Nasdaq (INDEXNASDAQ:.IXIC) issues. This, even as Twitter's (NYSE:TWTR) bluebird, up 3.04%, gained for a sixth straight session in its best run as a public company. By contrast, Yahoo (NASDAQ:YHOO) fell for the first time in nine, and did so in spectacular fashion. It plunged 5.77% after badly botching the password for Alibaba. Clearly, Marissa Mayer must have missed that cartoon in the new New Yorker.
Today the Federal Reserve starts its two-day policy meeting in Washington, DC. In earnings action, Adobe Systems (NASDAQ:ADBE) and La-Z-Boy (NYSE:LZB) each release results.
Now let's look at this morning's rating reductions, an eclectic bunch that features both a money manager and building materials behemoth in addition to headline equity The Travelers Companies.

Access Midstream Partners (NYSE:ACMP): Shares are cut to Neutral from Buy at Ladenburg Thalmann.
Domino's Pizza (NYSE:DPZ): Bank of America Merrill Lynch lowers its investment assessment on the fast food firm to Underperform from Neutral.
Moelis (NYSE:MC): The money manager gets moved to Neutral from Buy at UBS.
Ply Gem Holdings (NYSE:PGEM): Goldman Sachs slashes the building materials stock to Sell from Neutral.
The Travelers Companies: Today's headline rating reduction is now Market Perform from Outperform by BMO Capital. Its price objective is $98.
Triumph Group (NYSE:TGI): Bank of America Merrill takes TGI to Underperform from Neutral.
United Rentals (NYSE:URI): The stock gets downgraded to Neutral from Buy at Longbow.
West Corp (NASDAQ:WSTC): Morgan Stanley moves the equity to Equal Weight from Overweight.

Also see:

Stock Upgrades: Southwest Airlines Heads North

New Stock Coverage: Orbitz About to Take Off
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No positions in stocks mentioned.
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