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Stock Downgrades: Skullcandy Tears Its Hair Out


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

On International Women's Day, Lady Luck is being incredibly good to Mr. Market. She thus deserves far better than this morning's downgrade of "girl's best friend" Tiffany (TIF). Ice was nice for the PetSmart (PETM) manager who just returned a $30,000 diamond ring. He deserved far better than seeing that stock slump 6.57% in the S&P 500's (^GSPC) poorest performance.

Carl Icahn can always boost its business by shopping there for Fido, for he is on record as saying, "On Wall Street, if you want a friend, get a dog." But he currently has his hands full with the flea-bitten mutt that is Dell Inc. (DELL). The endlessly controversial CEO of Chesapeake Energy (CHK) claims to be the "biggest fracker in the world" and, give or take a few letters, most would agree with him after that stock surged 5.62%. And why pay for a pricey business degree when For Dummies publisher John Wiley & Sons (JW-A), riding its fiscal cliff crisis notes, just jumped 7.30%?

Today in economics, analysts expect an uptick in January wholesale inventories at 10:00 a.m. Eastern. On the earnings front, Ann Inc. (ANN), Buckle (BKE), Foot Locker (FL), and Genesco (GCO) are all due to report results.

AstraZeneca (AZN): The giant pharmaceutical firm is slashed to Sell from Hold at Swedbank.

E*TRADE (ETFC): Crédit Agricole downgrades the discount broker to Underperform from Outperform.

New Mountain Finance (NMFC): Shares are now Hold from Buy at BB&T Capital.

Rockwell Automation (ROK): ROK gets reduced to Neutral from Outperform at Credit Suisse.

Skullcandy (NASDAQ:SKUL): Piper Jaffray is among many brokerage firms reducing its rating today, slashing the stock to Underweight from Neutral. Analysts are troubled by the firm's poor forward earnings guidance, and shares are sliding approximately 16% ahead of the open.

Texas Roadhouse (TXRH): The stock is cut to Hold from Buy at KeyBanc due to valuation concerns.

Tiffany (TIF): TIF gets taken to Sell from Hold with a $52 price target (down from $58) at Canaccord Genuity, which says sales momentum will continue to slip amid the negative impact of tax increases on its aspirational luxury clientele.

Time Warner (TWX): A rich valuation after a strong recent run is the reason for TWX being reduced to Hold from Buy at Argus.

(See also: New Stock Coverage: Put Your Daylight Savings Into Time-Shifting TiVo and Stock Upgrades: Pandora Is Out of the Penalty Box.)
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