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Stock Downgrades: For Vail Resorts, It's All Downhill From Here


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

Remember that innocent age of, oh, four days ago when the only six letter word we had to worry about was Cyprus? Oracle (ORCL) has now joined the ailing island in contributing to Mr. Market's angst, nose-diving 9.69% in its single worst showing since 2011. Thus on Wall Street, where money normally talks so loudly, mammon was unusually muted. Perhaps it had something to do with The Sounds of Silence being celebrated, and ahead of Marcel Marceau's birthday this morning yet.

The IMF, whose post-Dominique Strauss-Kahn credibility is shall we say somewhat shaky, is attempting to exert its moral authority on Cyprus, whose main bank may now be liquid only for a matter of hours. The clock is ticking, folks, and Movado (MOV) just tumbled 10.48%.

No top-tier economic data due today, but Darden Restaurants (DRI) and Tiffany (TIF) are both out with earnings that beat Street estimates this morning, the latter in especially impressive fashion.

Cross Country Healthcare (CCRN): Cantor Fitzgerald cuts the company to Hold from Buy following fourth-quarter earnings, as it does not see a compelling share price catalyst at current levels.

Evercore (EVR): The equity is moved to Market Perform from Outperform at JMP Securities.

Family Dollar (FDO): Two views on the discount retailer, which also scored an upgrade at Deutsche Bank today. Citigroup, however, is less impressed, and reduces its rating to Neutral from Buy.

Hennes & Mauritz (PINK:HNNMY): The Swedish clothing company, better known as H&M and having just enlisted the ubiquitous Beyoncé, is slashed to Underweight from Neutral at HSBC Securities. First quarter gross margins disappointed investors amid, in the CEO's words, "continued tough macro-economic climate."

Humana (HUM): Susquehanna moves the managed care company to Neutral from Positive.

Informatica (INFA): The tech stock is now Neutral from Buy at Nomura after Thursday's 1.81% tumble.

Kohl's Corp. (KSS): Deutsche Bank slashes the stock to Sell from Hold.

Lululemon Athletica (LULU): A troubled week for the yoga apparel firm concludes with a Sell-from-Underperform cut at Crédit Agricole.

People's United Financial (PBCT): (PBCT): The regional bank gets cut to Market Perform from Outperform at Keefe Bruyette.

Rackspace (RAX): RAX is reduced to Sector Perform from Outperform at Pacific Crest.

Sonic Corp. (SONC): Sterne Agee downgrades the operator of drive-in restaurants to Neutral from Buy.

TIBCO Software (TIBX): Shares, slumping some 16% ahead of the open on an earnings miss, are now Neutral from Positive at Susquehanna.

TNT Express (PINK:TNTEY): JPMorgan takes the European packaging titan to Neutral from Overweight.

Vail Resorts (NYSE:MTN): The ski stock is lowered to Hold from Buy at Stifel. Valuation issues are a concern after a 38.21% share price increase over the past 12 months has left it near the broker's $66 fair value assumption, especially with the seasonally slow quarters approaching.

Vanguard Health Systems (VHS): Leerink Swann lowers the shares to Market Perform from Outperform.

(See also: New Stock Coverage: Brown-Forman Is in Great Spirits and Stock Upgrades: Ryder on Yellow Brick Road to Riches.)
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