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Stock Downgrades: Dean Foods Cries Over Spilled Milk

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

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Stock markets just crash, now I'm just a bill.
History don't repeat itself, it rhymes, 1929 still.

--
Jay-Z

Hardly, Jay-Z, hardly. In a week Wall Street reached the highest level in its history, the rapper is wrong to compare the current market boom to the calamity of 84 years ago.

Indeed, given The Great Gatsby's decidedly iffy reviews, investors may be better advised to skip the film and instead simply read the book. Especially after Barnes & Noble (BKS) just surged 24.25% to top the entire NYSE.

Still, stocks did slip slightly yesterday amid encouraging signs that mountainous egos, if not equities, have landed at last. David Einhorn, who shorted Green Mountain (GMCR), just saw that beloved stock jump a Nasdaq (^IXIC)-best 27.84%. So yes, the billionaire's advice not to take his advice was eerily on the money.

Elsewhere Jacob was declared the most popular boys' name for a fourteenth straight year, but a fat lot of good that did Jacobs Engineering (JEC). It fell 1.79% following lukewarm analyst comments.

A quiet week in economic data concludes with no top-tier data due on today's docket. In earnings action, ArcelorMittal (MT), BT Group (BT), GoldFields (GFI), Nissan Motor (OTCMKTS:NSANY), Panasonic (OTCMKTS:PCRFY), Student Transportation (STB), and UniCredit (OTCMKTS:UNCFF) are all expected to announce results.

AES Corporation (AES): The electric utility is now Neutral from Buy at UBS.

Cablevision (CVC): Shares are downgraded to Neutral from Buy at Citigroup.

Dean Foods (NYSE:DF): Stephens downgrades America's largest dairy producer to Equal Weight from Overweight. Shares, up 34.70% in the past year having hit a fresh 52-week peak on Friday, are now seen as somewhat rich.

Dendreon (DNDN): DNDN gets downgraded to Sell from Neutral at Citigroup.

Atlas Energy (ATLS): Shares are now Neutral from Buy Robert W. Baird, whose target is $56. The cut is due to valuation.

E.ON AG (OTCMKTS:EONGY): The stock is downgraded to Underweight from Neutral at HSBC Securities.

Grand Canyon Education (LOPE): Robert W. Baird lowers LOPE to Neutral from Outperform with a $30 target.

JC Penney (JCP): JCP is slashed to Sell from Neutral at Northcoast.

L Brands (LTD): The owner of Bath & Body Works, Henri Bendel, and Victoria's Secret - long known as Limited Brands - is lowered to Neutral from Buy at Lazard.

Micron (MU): Shares are lower this morning after being moved to Perform from Outperform at JMP Securities.

Optimer Pharmaceuticals (OPTR): The stock is now Neutral from Outperform at Robert W. Baird.

Pennant Investment (PNNT): Shares are now Perform from Outperform at FBR Capital.

Rent-A-Center (RCII): RCII is reduced to Hold from Buy at Canaccord Genuity, which also cuts its target to $37 from $42 amid a mature business model.

Repsol (PINK:REPYY): Société Générale slashes the Spanish energy outfit to Hold from Buy.

Synageva Biopharma (GEVA): The name is now Neutral from Overweight at JPMorgan.

(See also: New Stock Coverage: Frozen Smiles All Around at Allergan and Stock Upgrades: American Water Works Will Make You Liquid.)
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No positions in stocks mentioned.
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