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Stock Downgrades: Throwing the Book at Barnes & Noble


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

Investors who wanted the S&P 500 (^GSPC) to make up its mind after vacillating between gains and losses for the seven straight sessions should be careful what they wish for. Its recent zigzags apparently over, markets have suddenly slumped for two successive days on Wall Street, where the trend is decidedly not now our friend.

Contributing to an early June swoon was some iffy economic data, including the steepest slide in worker pay since 1947. On March 1 of that year, the International Monetary Fund came into existence, but recent reports indicate it has not aged at all well. And the world marked three years since BP Plc. (BP) finally capped its Gulf of Mexico oil spill after a tragic comedy of errors that included unsuccessfully attempting to do the deed with golf balls. Based on yesterday's downgrade-related 2.54% tumble in Callaway (ELY), the troubled sport has still to recover from the inestimable damage done to its reputation.

Today's quarterly earnings announcements include Ann Inc (ANN), Ciena (CIEN),Cooper Companies (COO), Dominion Diamond (DDC), Fairway Group (FWM), (DATE), J.M. Smucker (SJM), Quiksilver (ZQK), and Vail Resorts (MTN).

Barnes & Noble (NYSE:BKS): The bookseller, which nosedived 3.49% on Wednesday, is now Neutral from Buy at Janney Capital.

Calavo Growers (CVGW): Shares get cut to Neutral from Buy at Janney.

Coldwater Creek (CWTR): B. Riley reduces its rating on the retailer to Neutral from Buy and takes its target to $3.50 from $4.00 after the company's earnings announcement revealed challenges.

Endo Health (ENDP): Saying it now projects an extended phase of restructuring, Cantor Fitzgerald reduces its rating to Sell from Hold. The price objective, previously $36, is now $30.

First Horizon (FHN): Morgan Stanley moves the shares to Equal-Weight from Overweight.

Knight Transportation (KNX): Longbow lowers the stock to Neutral from Buy.

Nestlé (OTCMKTS:NSRGY): BNP Paribas cuts the confectionery company to Neutral from Buy.

Oracle (ORCL): The enterprise software outfit is slashed an unusual 180 degrees, to Sell from Buy, at Berenberg.

Vera Bradley (VRA): The handbag and accessories firm gets cut to Neutral from Outperform at Robert W. Baird, which also takes its target down by $6 to $24 amid concerns over management and unit growth issues.

VMware (VMW): Berenberg slashes the tech stock to Sell from Hold.

(See also: New Stock Coverage: Whole Foods Looks Tasty and Stock Upgrades: Stick to Henkel Like Glue.)
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