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Stock Downgrades: SodaStream Up Creek Without Paddle?

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

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The Dow (^DJI) hit its 20th record of 2013, and if many now think this rally is a little long in the tooth, these days it apparently pays to be Methuselah.

Cisco Systems (CSCO), just described as "positively geriatric" by the Wall Street Journal, is surging 10.80% before the bell, and an Old Navy-related upgrade propelled Gap Inc. (GPS) to levels last seen at the turn of the Millennium. Back then its blue dress almost impeached a president but Bill Clinton managed to survive. He was once asked "boxers or briefs?" in a cringe-worthy moment on MTV. To judge from today's downgrade of Joe Boxer owner Iconix Brand (ICON), Slick Willie had best stick to the latter.

This morning in economics, analysts forecast an improvement in May's Philadelphia Fed Index at 10:00 a.m. Eastern. Quarterly earnings announcements continue to roll in, with retailers coming increasingly to the fore. Today's results are expected to include Applied Materials (AMAT), Autodesk (ADSK), Brady Corp. (BRC), Flowers Foods (FLO), JC Penney (JCP), Kohl's Corp. (KSS), Marvell Technology (MRVL), Nordstrom (JWN), Prestige Brands (PBH), TalkTalk Telecom (OTCMKTS:TKTCY), Wal-Mart (WMT), and Zumiez (ZUMZ).

ABB Limited (ABB): Shares are now Neutral from Buy at Citigroup.

Advanced Micro Devices (AMD): Goldman Sachs slashes the recently-surging semiconductor stock to Sell from Neutral. It is sharply lower this morning as a result.

Ares Commercial Real Estate (ACRE): Keefe Bruyette cuts the company to Market Perform from Outperform.

Chesapeake Energy (CHK): JPMorgan moves the equity to Neutral from Overweight.

Coca-Cola Enterprises (CCE): CCE is lowered to Hold from Buy at Stifel due to valuation issues.

Computer Sciences (CSC): The tech stock, which nosedived 9.66% yesterday, is today taken to Hold from Buy at Deutsche Bank.

Comstock Resources (CRK): Shares are cut to Hold from Buy at KeyBanc.

Crane (CR): Ascendiant Capital Markets moves CR to Hold from Buy. The stock is now fairly valued, currently trading at more than 14.0 times the broker's 2013 Earnings Per Share estimate of $4.14.

Ericsson (ERIC): Danske Bank (Sell from Hold) and UBS (pulled from its Most Preferred List) both downgrade the Scandinavian telecom titan.

Family Dollar (FDO): FDO is downgraded to Neutral from Buy at Buckingham Research.

Great Plains Energy (GXP): GXP gets downgraded to Neutral from Overweight at JPMorgan.

HSBC Holdings (HBC): Shares are trading lower in London today on the back of a Hold-from-Buy cut at Deutsche Bank.

Iconix Brand (ICON): Benchmark lowers the company, whose brands include London Fog, to Hold from Buy with a price objective of $30. Issues include valuation, following a recent break out to new highs, and discretionary consumer spending concerns impacting it core clientele.

Infineon (OTCMKTS:IFNNY): UBS removes the tech name from its Most Preferred List of favored equities.

Jack in the Box (JACK): RBC Capital cuts the fast food firm to Outperform from Top Pick.

Lincoln National (LNC): The life insurance outfit is lowered to Underperform from Neutral at Credit Suisse.

MB Financial (MBFI): The firm is reduced to Underperform from Market Perform at Raymond James.

Medtronic (MDT): Credit Suisse moves the medical device maker to Neutral from Outperform.

SodaStream (NASDAQ:SODA): Shares get downgraded to Hold from Buy at Deutsche Bank.

Stratasys (SSYS): William Blair reduces its recommendation to Underperform from Market Perform.

3D Systems (DDD): The stock is also moved to Underperform from Market Perform by Blair.

Time Warner Telecom (TWTC): TWTC gets slashed to Equal-Weight from Overweight with Morgan Stanley.

(See also: New Stock Coverage: Stillwater Pockets Run Deep and Stock Upgrades: Bet the Mortgage on Beazer Homes.)
No positions in stocks mentioned.
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