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Stock Downgrades: Caterpillar Inc. Is Sent to the Doghouse


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

Hitherto unheralded uranium outfit USEC Inc. (USU), with a 7.14% surge, rose for a remarkable ninth straight session, but otherwise Wall Street's fat cats were unable to call upon their nine lives. (Due largely to a flea-bitten performance from Caterpillar (CAT), downgraded this morning after tumbling 2.43% to lead Dow (^DJI) laggards yesterday.)

Motorola Solutions (MSI), whose predecessor company can claim to have invented the cell phone - in 1928, apparently - slumped 6.57%. Apple Inc. (AAPL), whose turtlenecks were much slower on the scene, only entering the mobile market in 2007, proved good things come to those who wait. Its shares, suddenly beloved again, advanced 5.14% in its best day of the year. Just as well, for the firm wouldn't want to further upset this irate mother. Across the pond, the new royal mum clearly has the magic touch. Kate's remarkable decision to slum it on budget airline easyJet (ESYJY) surely helped shares climb 3.90% to an historic high.

It's another frenetic session for earnings announcements, with Amazon (AMZN), Bristol-Myers (BMY), Colgate-Palmolive (CL), Credit Suisse (CS), Dunkin' Brands (DNKN), General Motors (GM), LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton (LVMUY), 3M Company (MMM), Sirius XM Radio (SIRI), Starbucks (SBUX), Under Armour (UA), Unilever (UN), and Zynga (ZNGA) all due to report results.

Allegheny Technologies (ATI): Shares are downgraded to Neutral from Buy at Davenport.

AmerisourceBergen (ABC): Raymond James reduces its rating on the firm to Outperform from Strong Buy.

Angie's List (ANGI): The company is cut to Outperform from Strong Buy at Raymond James.

ARM Holdings (ARMH): UBS removes the English tech outfit, an important Apple supplier, from its European key calls list.

Capital One (COF): Shares are moved to Equal-Weight from Overweight at Morgan Stanley.

Caterpillar Inc. (CAT): The company, a key Dow (^DJI) component, is moved to Market Perform from Outperform at BMO Capital.

Crocs Inc. (CROX): Goldman Sachs cuts the maker of colorful plastic clogs to Neutral from Buy after its earnings announcement.

Daimler (DDAIF): UBS pulls the German car giant from its list of key European calls.

Fifth Third (FITB): The regional bank gets reduced to Market Perform from Outperform with Wells Fargo.

Ford (F): The recently-surging car company is cut to Sector Perform from Outperform at RBC Capital.

Maidenform Brands (MFB): The intimate-apparel outfit, no longer trading on fundamentals following yesterday's $547.6 million buyout by Hanesbrands (HBI), is lowered to Hold from Buy at Brean Capital.

Oritani Financial (ORIT): Shares are cut to Perform from Outperform by Keefe Bruyette.

Qualcomm (QCOM): The tech name is now Neutral from Buy at Citigroup.

Rock-Tenn (RKT): RKT is reduced to Hold from Buy at Deutsche Bank.

Ruby Tuesday (RT): The fast food firm is moved to Market Perform from Outperform at Raymond James.

Sequenom (SQNM): William Blair slashes the small cap stock to Perform from Outperform.

Texas Capital (TCBI): TCBI is taken to Neutral from Buy at Suntrust Robinson Humphrey.

Tractor Supply (TSCO): Shares are now Neutral from Buy at Piper Jaffray.

Volvo (VOLVY): The Swedish car company, fresh from yesterday's 5% surge, gets cut to Neutral from Buy at UBS.

WellPoint (WLP): The stock is now Neutral from Buy at Citigroup.

Western Digital (WDC): Craig Hallum slashes the shares to Sell from Hold.

(See also: Stock Upgrades: Wall Street Does a Total About-Face on Facebook Inc and New Stock Coverage: The Check Is in the Mail at Aeropostale Inc.)
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