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Stock Downgrades: Red Hat Reduced to Going Cap in Hand


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

Perhaps Fed officials really should stick to writing rather than speaking. Speeches from William Dudley and Richard Fisher sent the S&P 500 (INDEXSP:.INX) down for a third straight day even as Ben Bernanke's preferred literary outlet, the Washington Post (NYSE:WPO), gained 1.68%. Glue maker Henkel (ETR:HEN) also bucked a bad day, rising 1.03% to finish at a fresh 52-week peak. But there was no need for any long faces from our equine friends fearing a similar fate at the knacker's yard. Not when Dover Saddlery (NASDAQ:DOVR) surged 11.28% and stable mate Ascena Retail (NASDAQ:ASNA), long known as Dress Barn, jumped 3.71% after the horse bolted. In a terrible tape for financials, Bank of the James (NASDAQ:BOTJ) imploded 8.80% and $6 billion man Mr. Dimon - who no one now calls "King Jamie" any more - saw his JPMorgan (NYSE:JPM) tumble another 2.54%.

Today in economics, analysts expect The Conference Board's September consumer sentiment survey to pull back from its August pace at 10:00 a.m. Eastern. On the quarterly earnings front, CarMax (NYSE:KMX), Carnival Corporation (NYSE:CCL), KB Home (NYSE:KBH), and Lennar (NYSE:LEN) are all due to release results.

Automatic Data Processing (NASDAQ:ADP): Shares are slashed to Sector Perform from Outperform at RBC Capital.

DISH Network (NASDAQ:DISH): Moffett Research reduces its rating to Neutral from Buy.

EMC Corporation (NYSE:EMC): The stock is taken to Equal Weight from Overweight by Barclays.

Equifax Inc (NYSE:EFX): EFX is now Sector Perform from Outperform at RBC Capital.

F5 Networks (NASDAQ:FFIV): Goldman downgrades the tech name to Neutral from Buy.

Hanesbrands (NYSE:HBI): The underwear outfit is now Neutral from Buy at DA Davidson.

Monro Muffler (NASDAQ:MNRO): MNRO gets moved to Neutral from Buy at ISI Group.

NetApp (NASDAQ:NTAP): Barclays takes the tech stock to Equal Weight from Overweight.

PHH Corp (NYSE:PVH): Keefe Bruyette cuts the clothing company formerly known as Phillips Van Heusen to Market Perform from Outperform.

Red Hat Inc (NYSE:RHT): Shares, tumbling about 10% ahead of the open, are reduced to Sector Perform at Pacific Crest. Its Q2 earnings were a disappointment, as was forward revenue guidance.

(See also: New Stock Coverage: Who Needs Tesla When There's Tata? and Stock Upgrades: Monet or Manet? It's All Money for Sothebys.)
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