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Stock Downgrades: Run From the Robots of Intuitive Surgical, Inc.

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

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Twenty-four hours after a Brit wins Wimbledon for the first time in 77 years, National Bank of Greece (NBG) surges 19.81% to top the entire NYSE. Cynics may say these are sure signs of the apocalypse but for now let's just sit back and enjoy. Among stocks in the news, Peabody Energy (BTU) jumped an S&P 500 (^GSPC)-best 4.91%. Its Chinese equivalent Sinocoking Coal (SCOK) fell 4.17% but it's only money; a new study shows the fossil fuel shaved fully half a decade off lives in the land of the one-child policy. And speaking of tiny tots, exactly nine months after Super Storm Sandy the sidewalks of New York abound with pregnant women. Unfortunately, newborn care company Natus Medical (BABY) isn't seeing any halo effect, having just slumped 13.23% to post the Nasdaq's (^IXIC) poorest performance.

There are no top-tier economic reports released today. On the earnings front, expect quarterly announcements out of Helen of Troy (HELE), Hi-Tech Pharmacal (HITK), and Wolverine World Wide (WWW).

AB Volvo (ADR) (VOLVY): JPMorgan moves the Swedish car company to Neutral from Overweight.

Acuity Brands, Inc. (AYI): Canaccord Genuity cuts the company to Hold from Buy.

Barrick Gold Corporation (USA) (ABX): More bad news for the slumping commodity company, downgraded to Hold from Buy at Stifel amid a precipitous plunge in bullion prices. Its $800 million annual dividend is a prime candidate to be cut in an environment of ongoing third quarter write-downs.

Canadian National Railway (USA) (CNI): Shares are slashed to Sector Perform from Outperform at CIBC World Markets.

E I Du Pont De Nemours And Co (DD): Chemicals company DuPont, a key Dow (^DJI) component, gets cut to Neutral from Outperform at Macquarie.

Gentex Corporation (GNTX): Robert W. Baird reduces its rating to Neutral from Buy.

Helmerich & Payne, Inc. (HP): Jefferies reduces its rating to Hold from Buy.

International Business Machines Corp. (IBM): Big blues for big blue, with the blue chip tech name taken to Neutral from Buy at Goldman Sachs.

Intuitive Surgical, Inc. (ISRG): The maker of da Vinci medical robots, imploding 14.70% as I write after issuing iffy earnings guidance, gets downgraded to Hold from Buy at Canaccord Genuity. Hospital capital spending constraints are a genuine concern, the broker believes.

Nokia Corporation (ADR) (NOK): Swedbank takes the Finnish telecom firm to Neutral from Buy.

Quest Diagnostics Inc (DGX): Morgan Stanley moves the stock to Underweight from Equal-Weight.

Ryder System, Inc. (R): Shares are downgraded to Hold from Buy at BB&T Capital.

Siemens AG (ADR) (SI): The German firm is trading higher in Europe today after a Hold-from-Sell hoist at Deutsche Bank.

Wells Fargo & Co (WFC): Shares are now Neutral from Positive at Susquehanna.

(See also: New Stock Coverage: Denture Maker Prestige Brands Holdings, Inc. Puts Its Money Where Its Mouth Is and Stock Upgrades: Hewlett-Packard Company Continues Its Impressive Turnaround.)
No positions in stocks mentioned.
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