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Stock Downgrades: Hewlett-Packard Has Hell to Pay

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

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MINYANVILLE ORIGINAL President Obama, on his "One Night in Bangkok" said he was "confident" the dreaded fiscal cliff could be avoided. That was enough to make investors large amounts of "Money Money Money," in the words of another song composed by Björn and Benny of ABBA. Still, not all stocks surged yesterday. On the anniversary of an iconic and un-improvable 272-word address by one of the president's predecessors, the 500 million-word, 73,608-page tax code continued to trip up TurboTax owner Intuit (INTU), which managed to fall 0.56% in the market's best session since September.

Elsewhere, the CEO of Hostess ruled out a sale to Mexico's Grupo Bimbo (GRBMF). Marilyn Monroe was actually anything but a dumb blonde but, as a lover of rocks, she would have been troubled by an analyst-inspired 11.83% implosion in Diamond Foods (DMND), which now stands at its lowest level since September 2006.

It's a fairly tepid Tuesday in economic data but Fed head Ben Bernanke speaks at the Economic Club of New York at 12:15 p.m. Eastern. On the corporate front, earnings announcements are expected out of American Woodmark (AMWD), Best Buy (BBY), Campbell Soup (CPB), Chico's FAS (CHS), easyJet (ESYJY), Hewlett-Packard (HPQ), H. J. Heinz (HNZ), Hormel Foods (HRL), Medtronic (MDT), salesforce.com (CRM), Signet Jewelers (SIG), and Zale (ZLC).

ARM Holdings (ARMH): Shares are downgraded to Outperform from Strong Buy at Raymond James.

Cliffs Natural Resources (CLF): Shares are lower before the bell on a downgrade to Sell from Neutral at Goldman Sachs.

Emerson Electric (EMR): The industrial outfit is downgraded to Perform from Outperform at Oppenheimer due to reduced customer capital spending near-term. The target price is also taken down to $53 from $57.

Fiat (FIATY): UBS cuts the Italian car company to Neutral from Buy.

Greif, Inc. (GEF): The containerboard company gets moved to Market Perform Outperform with Wells Fargo.

Hewlett-Packard (NYSE:HPQ): The Dow (^DJI) member, slumping before the bell, is moved to Market Perform from Outperform at Raymond James.

Intel (INTC) The semiconductor stock, another key Dow component, gets cut to Neutral from Buy at UBS, which says CEO Paul Otellini's retirement will result in an uncertain transition period. The target is lowered to $29.50 from $29.

Laredo Petroleum (LPI): LPI is lowered to Market Perform from Outperform by BMO Capital.

Petróleo Brasileiro (PBR): The Latin American oil giant, popularly known as Petrobras, is reduced to Market Perform from Outperform at Raymond James.

(See also: Stock Upgrades: Fast Money Piles Into Zipcar and New Stock Coverage: Tide Is High at Royal Caribbean Cruises.)
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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