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Stock Downgrades: Time to Disown Family Dollar Stores, Inc.


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

Last week, a Twitter analysis determined Times Square to be the happiest place in all of New York City. Presumably pollsters forgot to canvass 165 Broadway over a three hour and 11 minute period on Thursday when smiles were as frozen as trades at Nasdaq (INDEXNASDAQ:.IXIC) headquarters. In a week of computer snafus, PC pioneer Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) ironically redeemed much of the market's damage, rising 9.34% to easily top all Dow Industrials (INDEXDJX:.DJI). This after its 57-year old Detroit-born CEO said he will step down within one year, an announcement that immediately added $800 million to Steve Ballmer's retirement package. (Who knew that the answer to Motown's pension crisis could be so easy?) Elsewhere Sheryl Sandberg's Facebook (NASDAQ:FB) jumped 9.4%, but investors would be well advised not to Lean In at Spanish lender Bankia SA (MCE:BKIA), whose Pisa-like tower tilted down a further 9.7%.

It's a low-key start to the week for corporate earnings reports, but Chinese Internet outfit Qihoo 360 Technology (NYSE:QIHU) is trading sharply higher this morning after its Q2 announcement beat Street estimates.

Family Dollar Stores, Inc. (NYSE:FDO): Deutsche Bank downgrades the discount retailer to Hold from Buy.

Raytheon Company (NYSE:RTN): Shares of the aerospace outfit are reduced to Hold from Buy at Stifel due to an excessive valuation.

Scorpio Tankers Inc. (NYSE:STNG): Morgan Stanley moves the maritime stock to Equal-Weight from Overweight.

Siemens AG (NYSE:SI): The German giant gets downgraded to Hold from Buy at Jefferies.

Tyson Foods, Inc. (NYSE:TSN): The meat products powerhouse gets lowered to Neutral from Buy at Bank of America-Merrill Lynch.

(See also: New Stock Coverage: Hush Puppies Owner Wolverine World Wide, Inc. Making Money Talk and Stock Upgrades: Amgen, Inc. Boosted By Blockbuster Biotech Deal.)
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