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Stock Downgrades: Red Hat Reduced to Going Cap in Hand

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

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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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No positions in stocks mentioned.
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