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Stock Downgrades: Plastic Not Fantastic for American Express

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

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MINYANVILLE ORIGINAL Festive green was the order of the day, with shares surging for a second straight session amid a welcome uptick in trading volume. Holly Energy Partners (HEP) jumped 4.07%, adding to the Yuletide spirit, and getting a lump of coal in Santa's stocking no longer seems so bad after the IEA said the fossil fuel is full of energy. Knight Capital (KCG), up 8.11% before the bell, is one Silent Night going for a song this Christmas. Shanghai travel firm Ctrip.com International (CTRP) rose 4.66% on an analyst upgrade but there was no comment from a man in China who arrived at an airport wearing 70 items of clothing to save on baggage fees.

It's quite a light day in economic data, but quarterly earnings announcements are expected out of Accenture (ACN), Bed Bath & Beyond (BBBY), FedEx (FDX), General Mills (GIS), Jabil Circuit (JBL), Navistar (NAV), and Paychex (PAYX).

American Express (NYSE:AXP): The charge card company, a key Dow (^DJI) component, is cut to Equal Weight from Overweight at Evercore.

BJ's Restaurants (BJRI): Shares are now Neutral from Outperform with Wedbush.

Chubb (CB): CB gets cut to Equal-Weight from Overweight at Morgan Stanley.

Compuware (CPWR): Shares are downgraded to Market Perform from Outperform at Northland Securities.

General Electric (GE): The stock is removed from Key Call list at UBS, citing the impact of an uncertain macro environment impact on earnings.

H&R Block (HRB): Shares are now Neutral from Buy at Compass Point, whose new price target is $18.50. Headwinds include the risk of an unpredictable tax season.

SandRidge Energy (SD): SD is downgraded to Neutral from Buy at Citigroup.

Smith & Wesson (SWHC): Shares are downgraded to Neutral from Outperform at Cowen.

Wells Fargo (WFC): The stock gets downgraded to Equal Weight from Overweight at Evercore.

(See also: New Stock Coverage: Charles Schwab Making Money Talk and Stock Upgrades: Panera Bread Rolling in Dough.)
No positions in stocks mentioned.
The information on this website solely reflects the analysis of or opinion about the performance of securities and financial markets by the writers whose articles appear on the site. The views expressed by the writers are not necessarily the views of Minyanville Media, Inc. or members of its management. Nothing contained on the website is intended to constitute a recommendation or advice addressed to an individual investor or category of investors to purchase, sell or hold any security, or to take any action with respect to the prospective movement of the securities markets or to solicit the purchase or sale of any security. Any investment decisions must be made by the reader either individually or in consultation with his or her investment professional. Minyanville writers and staff may trade or hold positions in securities that are discussed in articles appearing on the website. Writers of articles are required to disclose whether they have a position in any stock or fund discussed in an article, but are not permitted to disclose the size or direction of the position. Nothing on this website is intended to solicit business of any kind for a writer's business or fund. Minyanville management and staff as well as contributing writers will not respond to emails or other communications requesting investment advice.

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