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Stock Downgrades: Marvell Left With Massive Chip on Its Shoulder

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

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MINYANVILLE ORIGINAL "Twas the day after Christmas, when all through the house, Not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse." With both The White House and House of Representatives unoccupied even as our fiscal cliff crisis remains unresolved, stocks fell again.

President Obama did actually cut his Hawaiian holiday short, which helped send Marriott Vacations (VAC) - up 135% this year - down 4.36%. Oxford Industries (OXM), which makes Tommy Bahama tropical attire, dropped 4.47% with our Chief Executive unwisely eschewing their wardrobe while on the island. Weight loss outfit Medifast (MED) lost 13.15% in posting the NYSE's poorest performance. Its website features strawberries, blueberries, and raspberries but, alas not a single BlackBerry.

A pity, on the day Research In Motion (RIMM) rose 11.45%. Superman was happy as US Steel (X) bucked a bad tape to end up, but Spider Man was unceremoniously dumped by Marvel - which still had a better time of it than Marvell (MRVL), a 10.30% tumbler and trading this morning at fresh four-year troughs. Today in economics, November new home sales and December consumer confidence are each out at 10:00 a.m. Eastern.

Aon Corp. (AON): The Illinois insurance outfit is removed from Select List of favored equities at Stifel Nicolaus.

Marvell Technology (NASDAQ:MRVL): The chip maker, which tumbled 10.30% to a fresh five-week low yesterday, is this morning moved to Market Perform from Outperform at JMP Securities. This after it was hit with $1.17 billion in damages for infringing upon two patents belonging to Carnegie Mellon University. Additionally, channel checks point to ongoing weakness in Personal Computer demand.

(See also: Stock Upgrades: KAR Auction Catches a Bid and New Stock Coverage: Connecticut Water Service Lacking Liquid Assets?)
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No positions in stocks mentioned.
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