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Stock Downgrades: No Indian Summer at Apache Corporation


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

Much like the Bureau of Engraving and Printing and its butchered Benjamins, investors found it awfully hard to make money. The Dow (^DJI) tumbled 2.23% in enduring its worst week since June 2012 although, as ever, some equities advanced impressively amid the wreckage. Long-shunned Apple Inc. (AAPL), up 11% to again climb above $500, suddenly finds itself back in vogue. As, elsewhere in Silicon Valley, does
Yahoo's (YHOO) Marissa Mayer. Although, reclining on her well-manicured lawn and admiring herself on an iPad may not send quite the right message about hard work. Fellow tech firm Cisco Systems (CSCO) slumped 6.8% after announcing 4,000 of its erstwhile employees will now have more time to loaf around in the manner of Ms. Mayer. (Although it was the firing of but a single person that attracted infinitely more attention for AOL Inc. (AOL). Maybe Joseph Stalin was on to something in saying, "When one person dies, it's a tragedy, but when a million people die, it's a statistic.") And J.C. Penney (JCP) jumped 4.1% after dispensing with William Ackman, for whom the final straw was learning about the hiring of ex-Kraft (KRFT) marketing guru Debra Berman via a news release on his Bloomberg. Compared to some of the recent taunting staring out from his terminal, that was small surely potatoes.

There isn't any top-tier economic data due today, but earnings announcements are expected out of Bob Evans Farms (BOBE), Cellcom Israel (CEL), and Urban Outfitters (URBN).

Apache Corporation (APA): With events in Cairo, and the resultant risk to Suez Canal oil supplies, a constant concern, Stifel slashes the energy stock to Hold from Buy. Egypt represents fully 19% of the company's production.

Cablevision Systems (CVC): The broadcasting name is now Neutral from Buy at Nomura.

First Majestic Silver (AG): Shares are moved to Market Perform from Outperform at Cowen due to a relatively rich valuation.

First Marblehead (FMD): Citing potential risk of an audit, Compass Point cuts the company to Neutral from Buy. Its price objective, previously $2.00, gets taken to $1.25.

Halcon Resources (HK): Stifel cuts the company to Hold from Buy on account of an increased share count and reduced 2014 outlook.

Holcim Ltd. (HCMLY): The Swiss stock, which is the world's biggest cement maker, is tumbling about 2% in today's European trading on a Neutral-from-Buy downgrade at UBS. The bank believes earnings will come under pressure.

Riverbed Technology (RVBD): RVBD gets reduced to Market Perform from Outperform at JMP Securities.

Southwestern Energy (SWN): Shares are moved to Market Perform from Outperform by BMO Capital Markets.

Trulia (TRLA): RBC Capital Markets cuts the online real estate outfit to Sector Perform from Outperform, sending it slumping some 6.5% as I write.

(See also: New Stock Coverage: Will Today's Trading Be Murder on Orient-Express Hotels Ltd.? and Stock Upgrades: Intel Corporation Tries to Rise From Silicon Valley to Mountain Top.)
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