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Stock Downgrades: Life's Not Good for LG Display

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

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MINYANVILLE ORIGINAL Stocks closed at their highest level since October 22 after Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said his august institution is prepared to reconvene on December 26 to work on the budget. Proof that, even for Congress, hard work is its own reward. As such, our politicians should surely be rewarded with stock options in Endeavour International (END), which just slid 17.62% to a new low.

Google (GOOG) gained 2.68% and, although its motto is Don't Be Evil, may take some pleasure in R.R. Donnelley (RRD) sliding 5.68%. The last time the two companies collaborated, it didn't go so well. In the wake of Connecticut's tragedy, firearms firm Smith & Wesson (SWHC) fell 5.20% to start the week. "I Don't Like Mondays," a song about a school shooting in the 1970s, echoes again across the decades to remind us all that this scourge has been with us for far too long, and must be stopped.

Today's earnings announcements are expected to include Apogee Enterprises (APOG), FactSet Research (FDS), Heico (HEI), Jefferies Group (JEF), Learning Tree (LTRE), Oracle (ORCL), and Sanderson Farms (SAFM).

Caribou Coffee (CBOU): Shares are downgraded to Hold from Buy at Jefferies.

Centene (CNC): The stock gets downgraded to Hold from Buy at Jefferies.

FirstEnergy (FE): FE is moved to Hold from Buy at Deutsche Bank, which cuts its price target to $43 from $47.

Hewlett-Packard (HPQ): The Dow (^DJI) component gets cut to Sell from Hold at Topeka.

Kansas City Southern (KSU): Shares are downgraded to Perform from Outperform at FBR Capital.

LG Display (NYSE:LPL): LPL is lowered to Neutral from Buy at UBS.

Owens & Minor (OMI): Goldman Sachs slashes the stock to Sell from Neutral due to continued provider consolidation among its other concerns.

Renault (PINK:RNSDF) Shares are lower in Europe after Sanford Bernstein cut the car maker to Market Perform from Outperform.

Rush Enterprises (RUSHA): The stock gets downgraded to Hold from Buy at BB&T Capital.

Trimble Navigation (TRMB): Lazard takes TRMB to Neutral from Buy amid a lack of potential upside to estimates.

Woodward Inc. (WWD): Citing slowing organic growth, Credit Suisse cuts the company to Neutral from Outperform. Its price target is also trimmed by $4, to $39.

(See also: Stock Upgrades: Goldman's a Gold Mine and New Stock Coverage: Sirius Radio Dials Up Dollars.)
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No positions in stocks mentioned.
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