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Stock Downgrades: Olive Garden Owner Darden Restaurants Evicted From Eden

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

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MINYANVILLE ORIGINAL Something smelled funny in Newport Beach yesterday, and it wasn't just the 10.44% tumble in fertilizer firm and hometown hero American Vanguard (AVD). No, PIMCO's Mountain Mohamed El-Erian, also based in the affluent Orange County city, was not alone in finding the market's Fed reaction hard to fathom.

Berkshire Hathaway (BRK.A) gained 2.42% after announcing a $1.2 billion share buyback, something which Warren Buffett has often railed against in the past. Elsewhere, every dog had it day as Ruckus Wireless (RKUS) added 4.74%, Zynga (ZNGA) surged 7.14%, and Nathan's Famous(NATH) advanced 8.41% to an all time high.

Today's quarterly earnings announcements are expected to include Adobe (ADBE), Ciena (CIEN), Hovnanian (HOV), Pier 1 Imports (PIR), Quiksilver (ZQK), and Verifone (PAY).

Analog Devices (ADI): Shares are now Neutral from Buy at Citigroup.

BostonPrivate Financial (BPFH): The stock gets downgraded to Perform from Outperform at Keefe Bruyette.

Darden Restaurants (NYSE:DRI) The recently slumping owner of Olive Garden and Red Lobster gets downgraded to Neutral from Buy at Goldman based on limited visibility and deceleration in the Casual Dining sector. Its price objective is $49.

E.ON AG (EONGY): Shares are downgraded to Reduce from Neutral at Nomura.

Lexmark (LXK): LXK is lowered to Sell from Hold at Deutsche Bank.

Linear Technology (LLTC): The stock is now Sell from Neutral at Citigroup.

Nabors Industries (NBR): NBR is now Underperform from Hold at Jefferies.

Titanium Metals (TIE): TIE is taken to Neutral from Overweight at JPMorgan.

United Therapeutics (UTHR): Shares are slashed to Sell from Neutral at Goldman.

(See also: Stock Upgrades: HSBC Makes Clean Break After Money Laundering and New Stock Coverage: Green Mountain Coffee Not Worth Hill of Beans?)
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No positions in stocks mentioned.
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