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Stock Downgrades: Tumi Has Too Much Baggage


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

"Sell in May and go away" is all well and good, but always left strangely unspecified is where exactly ya gonna go? (Especially with TripAdvisor (TRIP) tanking 4.58% on yet another record day for the Dow (^DJI).) No, investors sensibly opted to stay put in equities.

Apple (AAPL) rose 1.13% and Amazon (AMZN) advanced 0.37%. Not too shabby, but not a patch on Cézanne's "Apples," which sold for $41.6, and Modigliani's "Amazon," which went for $26 million. A blockbuster auction of each sent Sotheby's (BID) surging 3.78% ahead of its earnings announcement.

1987 was an annus horribilis on Wall Street, but that year's Dirty Dancing was right on the money when Swayze said "Nobody puts bebe (BEBE) in a corner." Shares, unstoppable since a recent upgrade, added on another 3.96%.

Soccer is often derided as "America's biggest baby sitting service" but it is deadly serious business across the Atlantic. Thus the retirement of a gruff Glaswegian socialist who grew up in a working class area of Scotland, slaving away in the shipyards before going on to advise leftist politicians, shaved millions off Manchester United's (MANU) market cap. The team is nicknamed The Red Devils but, from her freshly appointed perch in Heaven, Maggie Thatcher is having a wry chuckle right about now.

Today in economics, analysts expect March wholesale inventories to pick up from February's pace at 10:00 a.m. Eastern. In earnings action, AES Corporation (AES), Carlyle Group (CG), Dean Foods (DF), Dish Network (DISH), Nvidia (NVDA), Priceline (PCLN), Repsol (PINK:REPYY), Skechers (SKX), and Sony (SNE) are all due to release results.

BlackRock (BLK): Shares, recently trading at fresh peaks, are now Neutral from Buy at Citigroup.

BMC Software (BMC): Jefferies cuts the company to Hold from Buy.

Chesapeake Lodging Trust (CHSP): The stock is now Hold from Buy at Deutsche Bank.

Clean Energy Fuels (CLNE): Raymond James reduces its rating to Underperform from Perform.

Compass Group (CODI): CODI is now Neutral from Buy at Janney.

Delhaize Group (DEG): The Brussels based grocery giant gets downgraded to Underperform from Neutral by BNP Paribas.

Guess (GES): The clothing company is cut to Neutral from Outperform with Wedbush, which worries about earnings risk among other issues.

Hansen Medical (HNSN): Shares are now Neutral from Overweight at Piper Jaffray.

ICU Medical (ICUI): The stock, recently attracting takeover talk, gets downgraded to Hold from Buy at The Benchmark Company due to valuation concerns.

InterContinental Hotels (IHG): Cantor cuts the accommodation outfit to Hold from Buy.

LivePerson (LPSN): Credit Suisse lowers LPSN to Underperform from Neutral.

Market Leader (LEDR): Shares get downgraded to Hold from Buy at Craig-Hallum.

Monster Beverage (MNST): MNST is moved to Hold from Buy at Gabelli.

Orthofix (OFIX): The stock is now Neutral from Buy at Mizuho, which trims its target to $28 from $45 amid worsening sales.

PAA Natural Gas Storage (PNG): Bank of America-Merrill Lynch lowers the limited partnership to Underperform from Neutral.

Rackspace (RAX): The company is cut by both Crédit Agricole (Sell from Underperform) and Evercore (Equal Weight from Overweight.)

Standard Chartered (PINK:SCBFF): Shares are tumbling 2.31% in today's London trading on a Neutral-from-Overweight downgrade by JPMorgan. "[We] see potential for further weakness driven by excess liquidity and continued central bank action," its analysts wrote in a note. Numis (Hold from Buy) and RBC Capital (Underperform from Hold) add to the agony.

Tesla Motors (TSLA): The stock, up 18.76% this morning, is nonetheless now Neutral from Buy at Goldman Sachs, which sees a more balanced risk/reward profile.

Tim Hortons (THI): THI is taken to Equal Weight from Overweight by Barclays.

Tumi Holdings (NYSE:TUMI): Citigroup takes the luxury luggage maker to Neutral from Buy following its first quarter earnings announcement.

(See also: New Stock Coverage: Jacobs Engineering Can't Keep Climbing Ladder to Stars and Stock Upgrades: Green Mountain Scales the Summit.)
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