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Stock Downgrades: No Love in the Air for Southwest Airlines Co

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

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US stocks advanced, with the Dow (^DJI) effortlessly shrugging off Monday's Beijing blues, as America reminded Mr. Jintao's successors exactly Hu's on first. Amid the green ink, beleaguered National Bank of Greece (NBG) nose-dived another 2.84% and an Athenian made a fool of himself when he told Marissa Mayer, "I'm Greek and I'm a dirty old man, and you look attractive." The Yahoo (YHOO) CEO stayed sensibly silent but money continues to talk eloquently enough for her stock, which jumped 3.70% for its biggest gain in over eight months.

With Monsters University currently besting the box office, Corinthian Colleges (COCO) advanced 4.21% in a strong educational sector. Sometimes, however, a little knowledge is a dangerous thing, hence hedge fund heavy Steven A. Cohen is now being investigated for having purposely avoiding learning about alleged criminal activity that occurred on his watch.

Elsewhere, Botox maker Allergan (AGN) - fresh from Monday's 11.55% implosion - opted to turn the other cheek when confronted with another ratings reduction on Tuesday. Its act of Christian charity was rewarded with a 3.98% increase, and Delta Air Lines (DAL) found paying it forward to be equally profitable as it gained 4.55%.

Today's earnings announcements are expected to include Bed Bath & Beyond (BBBY), General Mills (GIS), HB Fuller (FUL), Monsanto (MON), and Paychex (PAYX).

Axiall Corp (AXLL): SunTrust Robinson Humphrey slashes the chemicals company to Neutral from Buy.

Barrick Gold Corporation (USA) (ABX): As bullion continues to crater, now down for seven of eight sessions to a three year low, Credit Suisse cuts the commodity company to Neutral from Outperform.

Brinker International, Inc. (EAT): Morgan Stanley moves the fast food firm, which owns Chili's, to Equal-Weight from Overweight.

Lufkin Industries, Inc. (LUFK): LUFK is lowered to Market Perform from Outperform with Wells Fargo.

Mosaic Co (MOS): Citigroup moves MOS to Neutral from Buy.

NetGear, Inc. (NTGR): Shares are now Sell from Neutral at Goldman Sachs, which cites a systemic slump in the company's core business of retail wireless local area networking. Its price objective, previously $33, gets taken to $28.

O'Reilly Automotive Inc (ORLY): The stock gets downgraded to Equal-Weight from Overweight at Morgan Stanley.

Pan American Silver Corp. (USA) (PAAS): Credit Suisse takes the stock to Neutral from Outperform.

REGAL-BELOIT CORPORATION (RBC): RBC gets reduced to Outperform from Market Perform by Barrington.

Rubicon Technology, Inc. (RBCN): JPMorgan reduces its RBCN rating to Neutral from Overweight.

Southwest Airlines Co. (LUV): LUV is lowered to Underweight from Equal-Weight at Morgan Stanley, which would put fresh money to work in other airlines after an approximately 30% year-to-date surge in LUV's stock price.

Vanguard Health Systems, Inc. (VHS): The stock, no longer trading on fundamentals following an acquisition offer, gets downgraded to Neutral at Citigroup.

(See also: New Stock Coverage: Google Inc's Search Party Just Getting Started and Stock Upgrades: Pandora Media Inc Dialing Up Dollars.)
No positions in stocks mentioned.
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