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Stock Downgrades: Match.com Owner IAC/InterActiveCorp Looking for Love in All the Wrong Places

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

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MINYANVILLE ORIGINAL Stocks started what has historically been their single best month of the year with a thud. Perhaps this time investors are giving more weight to the Mayans, who say the world is only 17 days away from ending. A view seconded by one woman who claims alien messages picked up by a chip in her brain are warning that the planet Nibiru is approaching.

With time short, one only hopes she went long said semiconductor stock Advanced Micro Devices (AMD), which continued its recent surge by adding on another 7.27% to top the entire S&P 500 Index (^GSPC). Pre-owned motor vehicle purveyor CarMax (KMX) hit a multi-year high on the day a Gallup survey showed used car salesmen are the least trustworthy people on Earth. (Cheer up Congress, that profession kept you from finishing dead last.)

Tootsie Roll (TR) rose 5.22%, with the Junior Mints maker another stock to touch a fresh peak on an altogether stellar day for Seinfeld. And it was a nightmare for Dreamworks (DWA), which fell 5.02% after getting downgraded by an analyst unimpressed at Rise of the Guardians, an ominous landscape full of fiscal cliffs.

No top-tier economic data due today, but quarterly earnings announcements are expected out of AutoZone (AZO), Big Lots (BIG), Mattress Firm Holding (MFRM), Oxford Industries (OXM), Pandora Media (P), Powell Industries (POWL), Toll Brothers (TOL), and Vail Resorts (MTN).

Canon (CAJ): The stock gets downgraded to Hold from Buy at Deutsche Bank, which cites valuation concerns. Shares are lower as a result this morning.

Career Education (CECO): CECO is cut to Market Perform from Outperform with Wells Fargo.

Cliffs Natural Resources (CLF): Shares are cut at Davenport to Neutral from Buy.

Demand Media (DMD): DMD gets downgraded to Sell from Neutral at Goldman Sachs.

Exa Corporation (EXA): Shares are now Neutral from Outperform at Robert W. Baird, which also trims its target price to $12 from $13 amid uncertainty over near-term capital spending.

IAC/InterActiveCorp. (NASDAQ:IACI): The owner of Match.com, Chemistry.com, and OkCupid.com gets slashed to Sell from Neutral at Goldman Sachs. Concerns include decelerating search queries and an ongoing industry shift towards mobile. The price objective is cut by $11 to $42.

Iberdrola (IBDRY): The Spanish energy giant gets downgraded to Neutral from Buy at UBS.

NxStage Medical (NXTM): Shares are now Market Perform from Outperform at Northland Securities.

Olympic Steel (ZEUS): Jefferies cuts its rating to Hold from Buy.

Regal Entertainment Group (RGC): The cinema stock is moved to Neutral from Outperform at Macquarie.

Sovran Self Storage (SSS): Cantor Fitzgerald slashes SSS to Sell from Hold.

Timken (TKR): Longbow takes TKR to Neutral from Buy.

(See also: Stock Upgrades: PIIGS Got You Down? Invest Instead in Pork Producer Smithfield Foods and New Stock Coverage: Dollars in Donuts for Dunkin'.)
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No positions in stocks mentioned.
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