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Stock Downgrades: Blue Nile Up a Creek on Valentine's Day?


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

On Valentine's Day, Mr. Market clearly can't commit. Dow Industrials (^DJI) have now alternated between gains and losses for six straight sessions. Still, romance is far from dead. Amazon (AMZN) advanced a further 4.16% after announcing an expanded broadcasting agreement with "Tiffany network" CBS Corp. (CBS) to show content including Everybody Loves Raymond.

Comcast (CMCSA), based in the City of Brotherly Love, added on 2.98% to finish at its highest level since 1999. And aging Lotharios everywhere now have no excuse not to go down on one knee after an upgraded Zimmer Holdings (ZMH) hit a fresh 52-week peak on high hopes for its Persona Knee replacement.

Hershey's (HSY) Kisses hit a new lifetime high and, for those who left their heart in San Francisco, the City by the Bay's own Trulia (TRLA) jumped 21.90%. And for those who would rather light up a cigarette rather than enjoy some burning love, tobacco titan Lorillard (LO) rose 4.93% on Ash Wednesday.

It's another relatively uneventful day in economic data but corporate earnings announcements are expected to include Agilent (A), BNP Paribas (PINK:BNPQY), CBS Corporation (CBS), DirecTV (DTV), General Motors (GM), Iberdrola (PINK:IBDRY), Molson Coors (TAP), Nestlé (PINK: NSRGY), PepsiCo (PEP), and Rolls-Royce (PINK:RYCEY).

African Barrick Gold (PINK: ABGLY) Shares are now Underweight from Neutral at JPMorgan.

Ameristar Casinos (ASCA): Raymond James reduces its recommendation to Market Perform from Outperform as it is no longer trading on fundamentals following its acquisition by Pinnacle Entertainment (PNK).

Blue Nile (NASDAQ:NILE): Morgan Stanley cuts the retailer, an online seller of diamonds and fine jewelry, to Equal-Weight from Overweight.

Calpine (CPN): An excessive valuation sees Macquarie move the stock to Neutral from Outperform.

CenturyLink (CTL): JP Morgan moves the equity to Neutral from Overweight.

Dell Inc. (DELL): The personal computer maker, currently in the process of becoming private, is taken to Hold from Buy at Brean Capital.

Delta Air Lines (DAL): DAL gets downgraded to Underweight from Equal Weight at Evercore.

Dendreon (DNDN): Shares are slumping in today's pre-market trading after getting slashed to Sell from Hold at Maxim.

Edison Internationlal (EIX): Jefferies reduces the electric utility to Underperform from Hold.

Entergy (ETR): The company behind the Super Bowl blackout gets slashed to Sell from Neutral at UBS.

Hyatt Hotels (H): Shares are cut to Perform from Outperform at FBR Capital, which is troubled by both mounting supply pressures and renovations across several large assets.

Infineon (PINK:IFNNY) HSBC Securities takes the European tech stock to Underweight from Neutral.

Itron (ITRI): The scientific instruments name is moved to Neutral from Overweight at JPMorgan.

Lockheed Martin (LMT): Cowen & Co lowers LMT to Neutral from Outperform.

Medtronic (MDT): The medical device maker gets moved to Neutral from Buy at Lazard.

NVIDIA (NVDA): Shares are now Hold from Buy at Needham, which notes the knock-on effects of an inventory correction in the non-Apple Inc. (AAPL) tablet market and lackluster sell through of Microsoft's (MSFT) new Surface device.

Polycom (PLCM): Stifel Nicolaus cuts the stock to Hold from Buy, saying that the departure of president of Product and Services, Sudhakar Ramakrishna, is a genuine worry.

Progressive (PGR): The insurance outfit, famous for its irrepressibly perky spokesperson Flo and whose shares have recently traded at fresh five year highs, gets cut to Equal Weight from Overweight by Barclays.

Time Warner Cable (TWC): RBC Capital reduces its rating to Sector Perform from Outperform with a $97 price objective. Among the issues are mixed operating trends and programming cost pressures.

TripAdvisor (TRIP) Morgan Stanley moves the stock to Equal-Weight from Overweight.

(See also: New Stock Coverage: Profit From Pawn Stars and Stock Upgrades: Get to Know Your Nabors.)
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