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Stock Downgrades: This Week's Beatlemania No Boost for Volkswagen

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

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The gray-haired ladies played their part - one even from beyond the grave - so what a pity Mister Market spoiled the party. The Dow (INDEXDJX:.DJI) endured its worst drop in seven months on a day Janet Yellen was sworn in as Fed head, and the late, great "first lady of finance" saw Siebert Financial (NASDAQ:SIEB) surge 30.95% from her heavenly perch. Otherwise, it was another hellish session in equities. This as new order growth in a key US manufacturing gauge fell to its lowest level since December 1980, the month John Lennon (although not Beatlemania) died. Herbalife (NYSE:HLF) jumped 7.22% to top the entire NYSE. David Beckham won't, then, lose his shirt in that stock. Just as well, for he did literally and figuratively in H&M (OTCMKTS:HNNMY) as the Swedish clothing company cratered 1.63% after his Super Bowl ad. Malibu Barbie is in real trouble as a rating reduction sent Mattel (NASDAQ:MAT) sliding 4.73%. Malibu Boats (NASDAQ:MBUU), up 1.17% amid a rising tide of red ink elsewhere, was a far better bet. In other analyst action, Goldman Sachs (NYSE:GS) gapped down 2.62% despite a broker boost. Still, anyone who doubted the bank's controversial December call back when equities were still booming is about to officially stand corrected.

Today in economics, December 2013 factory orders are expected to contract from the previous month's pace at 10:00 a.m. Eastern. On the corporate front, expect earnings announcements out of Arch Coal (NYSE:ACI), Archer Daniels Midland (NYSE:ADM), BP plc (NYSE:BP), Buffalo Wild Wings (NASDAQ:BWLD), Emerson Electric (NYSE:EMR), Gilead Sciences (NASDAQ:GILD), HCA Holdings (NYSE:HCA), Panasonic (OTCMKTS:PCRFY), Sirius XM (NASDAQ:SIRI), and UBS AG (NYSE:UBS).

Anglo Platinum (OTCMKTS:AGPPY): Citigroup slashes the commodity stock to Sell from Neutral.

Callon Petroleum (NYSE:CPE): Shares are now Neutral from Buy at SunTrust. The price objective, previously $8.25, gets cut to $7.

Helmerich & Payne (NYSE:HP): Credit Suisse inflicts additional pain, taking the company to Underperform from Neutral.

Newmont Mining (NYSE:NEM): JPMorgan moves the stock, a particularly poor performer of late, to Neutral from Overweight.

Peregrine Semiconductor (NASDAQ:PSMI): Amid the prospect of additional market share loss at Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL), Charter Equity moves the tech name to Underperform from Market Perform.

Take-Two Interactive Software (NASDAQ:TTWO): TTWO, tumbling some 6.08% before the bell, is now Neutral from Outperform with Wedbush.

U.S. Silica (NYSE:SLCA): Jefferies reduces its rating to Hold from Buy.

Volkswagen (OTCMKTS:VLKAY): Clearly, The Beatles have aged better than the Beetle. The German car company gets downgraded to Neutral from Overweight at HSBC Securities.

See also:

New Stock Coverage: Southern Comfort Sends Brown-Forman Shares North

Stock Upgrades: Pfizer Is in the Money on 42nd Street
No positions in stocks mentioned.
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