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Stock Downgrades: Don't Buy Taser International, Bro!

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

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The S&P 500 (INDEXSP:.INX) endured its worst day in more than two months as the world finally opened its eyes to the tyrant who trained in ophthalmology. (Oddly enough, TheraTears owner Akorn, Inc. (NASDAQ:AKRX) surged 9.61% to hit an all-time high amid the bloodbath after acquiring Hi-Tech Pharmacal (NASDAQ:HITK) - itself up 22.10% - with the aim of creating an eye care products powerhouse.) One hopes Assad owns neither but, as an avid Instagram user, was instead long its owner, as Facebook (NASDAQ:FB) fell fully 4.11%. Precious little worked in equities yesterday. Not Four Weddings, with Tiffany (NYSE:TIF) tumbling 1.04%, nor A Funeral, since cemetery stock Carriage Services (NYSE:CSV) slumped 2.35%. Nor indeed Hugh Grant, whose Monsanto (NYSE:MON) ended down even after scoring a broker boost. Still, the CEO should keep plugging away. As his namesake can now tell you, persistence always pays off in the end.

Today in economics, analysts expect an increase in July pending home sales at 10:00 a.m. Eastern. In earnings action, Accor (OTCMKTS:ACRFF), Brown-Forman (NYSE:BF.B), Express (NYSE:EXPR), Fresh Market (NASDA:TFM), Guess (NYSE:GES), Joy Global (NYSE:JOY), Williams-Sonoma (NYSE:WSM), and Zale Corp (NYSE:ZLC) are all due to release results.

Akzo Nobel (OTCMKTS:AKZOY): The paints and coatings company is tumbling about 2% in today's European trading after being taken to Underweight from Neutral at HSBC Securities.

Douglas Dynamics Inc (NYSE:PLOW): Credit Suisse cuts the auto parts outfit to Underperform from Neutral.

DSW Inc. (NYSE:DSW): Designer Shoe Warehouse is slashed to Sell from Hold by Brean Capital, whose price objective is $72. Yesterday's 7.91% surge, taking shares to an historic high even as the overall market imploded, left the equity "expensive, especially when compared to players within its peer group," the analyst wrote in a note.

Taser International, Inc. (NASDAQ:TASR): "Don't Tase Me Bro!," indeed. The stun gun maker, on a stellar recent run, is moved to Neutral from Overweight at JPMorgan this morning due to valuation issues.

Tiffany & Co. (NYSE:TIF) Citigroup (Neutral from Buy) and Crédit Agricole (Underperform from Outperform) each inflict après-earnings cuts on the bling king.

Stericycle Inc (NASDAQ:SRCL) The waste management firm gets downgraded to Neutral from Outperform with Wedbush.

(See also: Stock Upgrades: Meet Stifel Financial in St. Louis and New Stock Coverage: Can Gym Giant Nautilus Keep You Fiscally Fit?)
No positions in stocks mentioned.
The information on this website solely reflects the analysis of or opinion about the performance of securities and financial markets by the writers whose articles appear on the site. The views expressed by the writers are not necessarily the views of Minyanville Media, Inc. or members of its management. Nothing contained on the website is intended to constitute a recommendation or advice addressed to an individual investor or category of investors to purchase, sell or hold any security, or to take any action with respect to the prospective movement of the securities markets or to solicit the purchase or sale of any security. Any investment decisions must be made by the reader either individually or in consultation with his or her investment professional. Minyanville writers and staff may trade or hold positions in securities that are discussed in articles appearing on the website. Writers of articles are required to disclose whether they have a position in any stock or fund discussed in an article, but are not permitted to disclose the size or direction of the position. Nothing on this website is intended to solicit business of any kind for a writer's business or fund. Minyanville management and staff as well as contributing writers will not respond to emails or other communications requesting investment advice.

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