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Stock Downgrades: No Ka-Ching for Coinstar


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

Marilyn Monroe once warned us that marriages often suffer from The Seven Year Itch, but stocks just celebrated Valentine's Day showing no inclination to scratch their own seven week equivalent. Indeed the S&P 500 (^GSPC) has now started a year with seven straight weekly gains for the first time since 1967, when San Francisco was about to celebrate its Summer of Love. (Hometown hero Trulia (TRLA) - which knows just where to find romance - clearly still has what it takes to capture investors hearts and wallets, having just surged 41.9%.)

While engagement ring bling was being exchanged nationwide, General Electric (GE) jumped 3.5% after selling a 30 Rock of its own and Diamond Foods (DMND) gained 10% after BlackRock (BLK) revealed a substantial stake in the snack maker. Jack Lew, our Treasury Secretary designate, told a Senate Finance Committee, "I believe very strongly that people should pay taxes on their income." If nothing else, that is a welcome improvement on his predecessor.

No top-tier economic data due today, but earnings announcements are expected out of Allscripts Healthcare (MDRX), Analog Devices (ADI), CF Industries (CF), Dell Inc. (DELL), Deutsche Börse (PINK:DBOEY), Express Scripts (ESRX), Fidelity National Financial (FNF), Herbalife (HLF), Marriott International (MAR), Medtronic (MDT), Newfield Exploration (NFX), Northeast Utilities (NU), Sealed Air (SEE), Terex (TEX), and Westlake Chemical (WLK).

Coinstar (NASDAQ:CSTR) Shares are cut to Underweight from Neutral with a $51 price objective at JPMorgan, which is troubled by both valuation and risks associated with its Redbox movie rental business.

Cree, Inc. (CREE): The lighting stock is now Perform from Outperform at Oppenheimer after a strong recent run.

European Financials: HSBC Holdings (HBC) is moved to Equal Weight from Overweight at Morgan Stanley, sending the stock lower in today's London trading. ING Groep (ING), meanwhile, gets an identical downgrade.

Gold Fields (GFI): The commodity company is slashed to Sell from Neutral at Citigroup.

Intrepid Potash (IPI): Concerned about a weaker 2013 potash market outlook, Dahlman Rose downgrades the stock to Sell from Hold with a $16 target price.

Lifepoint Hospitals (LPNT): LPNT is lowered to Hold from Buy with WallachBeth

Oceaneering International (OII): The stock is now Neutral from Buy at Guggenheim.

Philips Electronics (PHG): Shares get downgraded to Hold from Buy at Société Générale.

Trulia (TRLA): The online real estate outfit, which surged 41.9% last week, is today taken to Hold from Buy at Deutsche Bank.

UBS AG (UBS): Credit Suisse cuts its fellow Swiss bank to Neutral from Outperform.

Veeco Instruments (VECO): The tech name is now Neutral from Overweight at JPMorgan.

Vodafone Group (VOD): Sanford Bernstein takes the telecom stock to Underperform from Market Perform, sending it lower before the bell.

(See also: New Stock Coverage: Tesco Stock Surprisingly Stable After Horse Meat Scandal and Stock Upgrades: Best Buy a Screaming Buy?)
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