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Stock Downgrades: Facebook Fatigue Becoming Epidemic


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

Shares fell on light volume, with concerns about Spain's slush fund just about winning out over a snow clean-up in New York. The Year of the Snake thus started in typically ominous fashion, for its last incarnation came in 2001, when stocks fell 13.1%. Back then, we spent a silly summer spellbound by sharks when true terror lay mere months away. (Let us sincerely hope history is not about to repeat.)

Regeneron (REGN), whose headquarters are in the headless horseman heartland of Tarrytown, rose 2.69%, and Tesco plc (PINK:TSCDY) – whose "Everyday Value" Spaghetti Bolognese contains 60% horsemeat - rode an analyst increase to end at a one-month high. News Corp (NWSA) made its Wall Street Journal free over the weekend - who knew Mr. Murdoch cared not a jot about making money? - and Tesla Motors (TSLA) thinks the New York Times (NYT) isn't worth the paper its written on after a scathing review of the car company saw it tumble 2.09%.

It's another quite quiet day in economic data, but corporate earnings announcements are expected out of América Móvil (AMX), Avon Products (AVP),Barclays (BCS), Buffalo Wild Wings (BWLD), Clearwire (CLWR), Cliffs Natural Resources (CLF), Coca-Cola (KO), Fossil (FOSL), Goodyear Tire & Rubber (GT), Huntsman (HUN), Level 3 Communications (LVLT), McGraw-Hill (MHP), Michael Kors (KORS), Rackspace (RAX), and ThyssenKrupp (PINK:TYEKF).

Amyris (AMRS): Raymond James reduces its recommendation to Underperform from Market Perform.

Boyd Gaming (BYD): The casino company gets clashed to Sell from Neutral at Goldman Sachs.

Capstead Mortgage (CMO): CMO gets taken to Perform from Outperform at JMP Securities.

Corporate Office Properties (OFC): Evercore reduces its assessment to Equal Weight from Overweight.

Cubic Corporation (CUB): Saying 2013 is a transitional year with lower growth in its transportation business, Benchmark cuts the company to Hold from Buy with a $46 target price.

Danone (PINK:DANOY): Shares are trading lower in Europe today after Morgan Stanley cut it to Underweight from Equal Weight.

Facebook (NASDAQ:FB): The social networking stock is moved to Market Perform from Outperform by Bernstein Research, which also reduces its price objective by 18% to $27 from $33. Its analysts wrote in a note that "much of [the] upside is now in consensus." Shares are tumbling 2.23% in today's pre-market trading as a result.

Owens Corning (OC): OC is cut to Neutral from Buy at Citigroup, whose new target is $48.

Qualcomm (QCOM): JPMorgan takes the tech name to Neutral from Overweight.

Questar (STR): Shares are now Neutral from Buy at UBS.

Reed Elsevier (RUK): RUK is reduced to Neutral from Buy at HSBC Securities, sending the LexisNexis owner lower in London this morning.

Ritchie Brothers (RBA): Bank of America-Merrill Lynch moves the stock to Neutral from Buy.

Seadrill (SDRL): BNP Paribas slashes the stock to Underperform from Neutral.

(See also: New Stock Coverage: Get Your Kicks With Manchester United and Stock Upgrades: With a Name Like Smucker's, It Has to be Good.)
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