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Stock Downgrades: Cliffs Natural Resources Has Fiscal Mountain to Climb

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

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MINYANVILLE ORIGINAL With stocks starting December with a second straight drop, and telecom the single worst sector, maybe Google (GOOG) is on the money by instructing its phones not to mention the month. Money can't buy you love but it now takes $3.67 less of it to purchase a share of Match.com owner IAC/InterActiveCorp. (IACI) after it slid 7.78% on a downgrade at Goldman Sachs (GS). (No comment yet from Chelsea Clinton, who sits on the former's board and met the love of her life Marc Mezvinsky at the investment bank.)

Anyway matrimonial bliss is overrated after Gap Inc. (GPS), founded by the husband and wife team of Donald and Doris Fisher, tumbled 10.34% and Cheesecake Factory (CAKE), founded by the husband and wife team of Oscar and Evelyn Overton, cratered 3.70%. Barbie is doing just fine without Ken, all the more so after she auspiciously entered the construction business at the precise moment home prices posted their biggest annual increase in over six years.

Today in economics, October factory orders and the Institute for Supply Management's November services index are each out at 10:00 a.m. Eastern. On the earnings front, Ascena Retail Group (ASNA), Brown-Forman (BF.B), Francesca's Holdings (FRAN), Finisar (FNSR), Men's Wearhouse (MW), and Vera Bradley (VRA) are all due to report results.

Adtran (ADTN): Shares are slashed to Sell from Hold at Citigroup.

Akzo Nobel (AKZOY): The name is now Underweight from Neutral at HSBC Securities.

Altera (ALTR): ALTR gets taken to Neutral from Buy at ISI Group.

Cliffs Natural Resources (NYSE:CLF): The stock, which has fallen 58.75% in the past year and was also downgraded yesterday, is reduced to Sector Perform from Outperform at RBC Capital.

Darden Restaurants (NYSE:DRI): The owner of Red Lobster and Olive Garden, a poor performer on Tuesday, is today taken to Hold from Buy at Jefferies. A lower earnings outlook is cited, and the price target is reduced to $47 from $61.

Echo Therapeutics (ECTE): The microcap is now Perform from Outperform at Northland Securities.

Heico (HEI): RBC Capital reduces its rating to Perform from Outperform.

Intel (INTC): The semiconductor stock, a key Dow (^DJI) component, get downgraded to Underperform from Market Perform at Raymond James. Concerns include gross margin headwinds from price competition in the PC and data center markets.

Liberty Media (LMCA): LMCA is lowered to Hold from Buy with a reduced price target of $117 with Wunderlich, which cites the 2017 loss of Disney (DIS) studio content to Netflix (NFLX).

Nvidia (NVDA): NVDA is now Perform from Outperform at Oppenheimer.

Tibco Software (TIBX): Bank of America-Merrill Lynch takes TIBX to Neutral from Buy.

Wesco (WCC): Shares are moved to Market Perform from Outperform at FBR Capital, whose target is $66.

(See also: Stock Upgrades: Goldman Finds Treasure in Trash and New Stock Coverage: Victoria's Secret Owner Limited Brands Has Something to Hide.)
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No positions in stocks mentioned.
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