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Stock Downgrades: Pinnacle Entertainment Falls From Summit


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

MINYANVILLE ORIGINAL Germany, inventor of all things Yuletide from the Christmas Tree to the Gingerbread House made its holiday presents felt last week. Bank of America (BAC) surged 6.71% to top the Dow (^DJI) after Meredith Whitney, a German history major in college, said it is succeeding admirably in getting "junk out of the trunk." Caribou Coffee (CBOU) jumped 35.02% after being bought for $340 million by Germany's Joh. A. Benckiser.

Proud Teuton Thorsten Heins, CEO of Research In Motion (RIMM), saw his stock tumble 22.74% on Friday in enduring its single worst session since September 26, 2008. Meanwhile Merck (MRK), founded in the Fatherland by Friedrich Jacob Merck, dropped 4.64% to lead all Dow laggards.

And Electronic Arts (EA), maker of a video game called Medal of Honor, nosedived 9.2%. This as we said a sad goodbye to Honolulu's Daniel Innoue, who won the real thing in the course of a well-lived life. His final word? "Aloha."

Stock markets can't wait to split this afternoon, closing early at 1:00 p.m. Eastern, and neither can Nike (NKE), which splits 2:1 in the form of a 100% stock dividend payable today. There are no quarterly earnings of note.

NYSE Euronext (NYX): NYX is now Hold from Buy at Stifel Nicolaus after last week's steep acquisition-related increase.

O2Micro International (OIMM): Shares are now Hold from Buy at Needham as the company continues to contend with a dramatic slowdown in the notebook market.

Pinnacle Entertainment (NYSE:PNK): The Vegas-based gambling company, which surged 21.35% on Friday to top the entire NYSE, is now Neutral from Positive at Susquehanna. The chief concern is a steep valuation after its acquisition of Ameristar Casinos (ASCA) for about $869 million. The amended price objective is $16.

(See also: Stock Upgrades: Time to Buy Fly Leasing and New Stock Coverage: General Motors Enjoys Life in the Fast Lane.)
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