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Stock Downgrades: Coca-Cola Carries the Can

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

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Shall I compare thee to a summer's day? Unless you are Larry, who increasingly looks like a lock for Fed head, probably not. Stocks went nowhere fast from Memorial Day to Labor Day, as Shakespeare's love sonnets found no takers. The Dow (INDEXDJX:.DJI) dropped 4.45% in an August when breaking up wasn't at all hard to do, even for the telephone industry. Clint Eastwood, scratching a 17-year itch, joined Michael Douglas and Catherine Zeta in separating, and investors agitating for a split at Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) got their wish, although perhaps not in the way they intended.

At least love was in the air at diamond seller Zale Corp (NYSE:ZLC), which surged 37.97% in an otherwise awful week. This as poultry powerhouse Tyson Foods (NYSE:TSN) tumbled 8%; a penny for the thoughts of that pet chicken who just swallowed one of the precious stones.

Today in economics, analysts expect August's Institute for Supply Management manufacturing index to soften from the prior month's pace at 10:00 a.m. Eastern. On the corporate front, H&R Block (NYSE:HRB) is due to report quarterly results.

Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL): Norwegian investment bank ABG Sundal Collier slashes the stock, which surged 7.49% in August, to Sell from Hold.

Coca-Cola (NYSE:KO): The key Dow (INDEXDJX:.DJI) component gets cut to Underperform from Outperform at Crédit Agricole.

Corning (NYSE:GLW): Oppenheimer gives the maker of glass for flat-panel televisions a downgrade to Perform from Outperform. A burgeoning supply glut amid reduced demand for TVs is a concern.

Dean Foods (NYSE:DF): The dairy giant gets downgraded to Neutral from Buy at Goldman Sachs.

Ensco (NYSE:ESV): Barclays takes the oil services firm to Equal Weight from Overweight.

Green Mountain Coffee Roasters (NASDAQ:GMCR): GMCR gets downgraded to Neutral from Buy at Suntrust Robinson Humphrey.

Intuitive Surgical (NASDAQ:ISRG): First Analysis reduces the robotic instruments stock to Underweight from Equal Weight.

LeapFrog Enterprises (NYSE:LF): LF is lowered to Market Perform from Outperform by BMO Capital Markets.

Palo Alto Networks (NYSE:PANW): JMP Securities slashes the stock to Market Perform from Outperform.

Rockwell Collins (NYSE:COL): Shares get cut to Market Perform from Outperform with Wells Fargo.

Vodafone (NASDAQ:VOD): Shares, upgraded elsewhere this morning, are now Neutral from Outperform at Macquarie, which would take profits with the stock trading at a 13-year high.

Williams-Sonoma (NYSE:WSM): The Pottery Barn owner gets a post-earnings downgrade to Hold from Buy at Canaccord Genuity, whose price objective is $59. Looming gross margin headwinds are an issue, the broker believes.

(See also: New Stock Coverage: Nasdaq Tries to Turn Over a New Leaf and Stock Upgrades: Say Yes to Nokia.)
No positions in stocks mentioned.
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