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Stock Downgrades: Facebook Defriended All Over Wall Street


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

Stocks plumped up early yesterday, but slimmed down considerably to end at session lows after the Fed's 2:15 p.m. Eastern interest rate announcement. Equities thus followed the advice of a recently released study saying you will lose weight only if you eat lunch before 3:00 p.m.

Research In Motion (RIMM) tumbled 12.01% and said it would change its name to BlackBerry because, well, not one but two other stocks named after fruits have fared so well already this month. Chesapeake Energy (CHK) surged 6.01% after ousting its antique map collector, who many now hope will take his interest in cartography to North Korea.

An iffy analyst initiation sent Buffalo Wild Wings (BWLD) sliding 2.11%, though the company is actually based in Minneapolis. Because, as an iconic signing performance at the 1991 Super Bowl involving the Buffalo Bills showed, things are not always what they seem on the surface.

It's another frenzied session for corporate earnings announcements, with Aetna (AET), Banco Santander (SAN), Colgate-Palmolive (CL), Deutsche Bank (DB), Eastman Chemical (EMN), LVMH Moët Hennessy-Louis Vuitton (PINK:LVMUY), MasterCard (MA), Nasdaq OMX (NDAQ), PulteGroup (PHM), Royal Dutch Shell (RDS-A), United Parcel Service (UPS), Viacom (VIAB), and Whirlpool (WHR) all due to report results.

Acxiom (ACXM): Shares are moved to Market Perform from Outperform by BMO Capital.

Chiquita Brands (CQB): BB&T Capital takes the banana behemoth to Hold from Buy.

Comerica (CMA): CMA gets cut to Underperform from Market Perform by Sanford Bernstein.

Facebook (NASDAQ:FB): The social network is now Hold from Buy at Jefferies, Neutral from Buy with an intact price objective of $30 at Citigroup, and Market Perform from Outperform with a $32 target price at BMO Capital. Concerns include a lack of near-term catalysts amid heavy business investment in 2013. Shares are slumping 6.88% ahead of the open after last night's earnings announcement. Citi adds, "Mobile Ads appear to be cannibalizing Desktop, which further concerns us."

Fresh Del Monte (FDP): BB&T Capital cuts the company to Hold from Buy.

Gildan Activewear (GIL): GIL gets downgraded to Sector Perform from Outperform at RBC Capital.

Hess Corporation (HES): Société Générale cuts the recently-surging oil outfit to Hold from Buy.

Las Vegas Sands (LVS): LVS is lowered to Hold from Buy at Craig-Hallum due to valuation issues. Its target is now $54 from $51.

Netgear (NTGR): Barclays takes the tech name to Equal Weight from Overweight. (PCLN): Morgan Stanley moves the stock to Equal-Weight from Overweight.

Regions Financial (RF): RF is reduced to Neutral from Outperform with an $8 price objective at Robert W. Baird, which thinks shares will now be range-bound after a strong recent run.

Research in Motion (RIMM): The company, changing its name to BlackBerry, is reduced to Underperform from Neutral at Credit Suisse. Limited traction is seen for its new BB10 products, and the price target is also trimmed to $10 from $11.

Seagate Technology (STX): Shares get downgraded to Underweight from Equal Weight by Barclays.

Stanley Furniture (STLY): STLY is moved to Market Perform from Strong Buy at Raymond James.

Xstrata (PINK:XSRAY): Société Générale cuts the commodity company to Hold from Buy.

Zions Bancorp (ZION): Citing a steep valuation, Sanford Bernstein slashes the stock to Underperform from Market Perform with an intact target of $20.

(See also: New Stock Coverage: Forest Labs Looks Like a Money Tree and Stock Upgrades: Rolls Royce Living Large.)
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