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Stock Downgrades: United Stationers Inc. Not Worth the Paper It's Written On?

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

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Paced by a 3.58% surge in firearms firm Sturm Ruger (RGR), The Guns of August got off to a great start on Wall Street. (This even as 'Fabulous Fab' Tourre, whose mother was a pedicurist, shot himself spectacularly in the foot.) The Dow (^DJI) hit a historic high, with constituent component Procter & Gamble advancing 1.67% after announcing earnings. Kim Kardashian, proving there are no depths to her depravity, infamously endorses the company's Charmin toilet paper. Meanwhile DreamWorks Animation (DWA), whose credits include Flushed Away is suddenly flush with cash after advancing 8.84%.

Today's economic data includes factory orders for June, which are expected to tick up at 10:00 a.m. Eastern. The final full week of Q2 earnings releases ends with Allianz (AZSEY), Axa Group (AXAHY), Berkshire Hathaway (BRK.B), Cablevision (CVC), CBOE Holdings (CBOE), Chevron (CVX), Furmanite (FRM), Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS), Toyota Motor (TM), and Viacom (VIAB) all slated to report results.

Antofagasta (ANFGY): The commodity company is now Reduce from Neutral at Nomura.

Cbeyond (CBEY): Concerned by its cloudy intermediate-term revenue outlook among other issues, FBR Capital cuts CBEY to Perform from Outperform with an $8 price objective. The stock fell 14.40% yesterday.

DIRECTV (DTV): Shares get downgraded to Neutral from Buy at Guggenheim.

Flow International (FLOW): Roth Capital reduces its rating to Neutral from Buy.

GameStop (NYSE:GME): The stock is now Neutral from Outperform at Credit Suisse.

Halozyme Therapeutics (HALO): Barclays trims the stock to Equal Weight from Overweight.

Ligand Pharmaceuticals (LGND): LGND is lowered to Sell from Hold at Cantor Fitzgerald due to valuation. Its amended price objective is $37.

Onyx Pharmaceuticals (ONXX): Shares get downgraded to Hold from Buy at Jefferies.

Protective Life (PL): The insurance outfit is reduced to Outperform from Strong Buy at Raymond James.

Selective Insurance (SIGI): Keefe Bruyette cuts the company to Perform from Outperform.

United Stationers Inc. (USTR): Shares are slashed to Hold from Buy with an amended target price of $42 with Wunderlich. Serious secular issues in its industry, in addition to an ongoing transition to direct purchasing, are dual causes for concern.

ValueClick (VCLK): Needham cuts the company to Hold from Buy. Issues include slowing media revenue growth and increasing competition.

ViroPharma (VPHM): The stock is lowered to Market Perform from Outperform at Leerink Swann.

Vodafone (VOD): Espirito takes the European telecom titian to Neutral from Buy.

(See also: New Stock Coverage: Electronic Arts Inc. Is Pretty as a Picture and Stock Upgrades: LinkedIn Corp Parties Like It's 1999.)
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No positions in stocks mentioned.
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