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Stock Downgrades: Unpleasant Surprise Inside for Intel Corporation


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

American equities celebrated the week of July 4 by declaring their independence from Cairo's crisis, Portugal's plight, and an ominous increase in oil prices. That unholy trinity failed to derail Wall Street, which posted its second straight week of increases. School's out for summer but Scholastic (SCHL), whose Twilight kid could clearly teach the European Union a thing or two about math, surged some 9.59%. With Egypt's fabled "Facebook (FB) revolution" of 2011 failing spectacularly to live up to its billing, the social networking name suffered similar heartache, falling 2.0% even as the Nasdaq (^IXIC) - now up in seven of its past eight sessions - rose 2.24%.

London's smitten FTSE (INDEXFTSE:UKX) played footsie with a newly-installed Adonis at the Bank of England, advancing 2.6% for its best weekly showing in six months. In tennis of course, love means nothing, but the across the Atlantic they are currently head over heels for hometown hero Andy Murray. He is the first British winner of Wimbledon since 1936, the year John Maynard Keynes published his The General Theory of Employment, Interest and Money. And the first Scot to triumph there since 1896, the year Charles Dow (^DJI) invented his eponymous index.

Today in economics, May consumer credit is forecast to expand at 3:00 p.m. Eastern. On the earnings front, Alcoa (AA) unofficially ushers in Q2 reporting season when it releases results after the close. Expect announcements also out of Bank of the Ozarks (OZRK), CrowdGather (CRWG), Mercury Systems (MRCY), Synergy Resources (SYRG), and WD-40 (WDFC).

Air Products & Chemicals, Inc. (APD): Shares are now Neutral from Buy at Goldman Sachs.

Boston Scientific Corporation (BSX): Citigroup moves the medical device maker to Neutral from Buy.

BP plc (ADR) (BP): Still troubled by its 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill, the British petroleum giant gets downgraded to Neutral from Buy at ISI Group.

Business Services: Barclays gives Equal Weight-from-Overweight ratings reductions to Cognizant Technology Solutions Corp (CTSH), Lender Processing Services, Inc. (LPS), and VeriFone Systems Inc (PAY).

Colfax Corp (CFX): CFX gets cut to Hold from Buy at Deutsche Bank.

Dana Holding Corporation (DAN): Deutsche downgrades DAN to Hold from Buy.

Deere & Company (DE): The tractor titan is taken to Neutral from Overweight at Piper Jaffray.

FMC Corp (FMC): Shares are now Sell from Neutral at Goldman Sachs.

Intel Corporation (INTC): The semiconductor stock, known for its "Intel inside" advertising slogan and a key Dow (^DJI) component, is slashed to Underweight from Equal Weight at Evercore. Shares are trading lower ahead of this morning's open bell as a result.

ON Semiconductor Corp (ONNN): The stock is downgraded to Equal Weight from Overweight at Evercore.

QUALCOMM, Inc. (QCOM): Shares are pulled from Citi's Top Picks Live list amid a slowdown in upscale smartphone sales.

Zep, Inc. (ZEP): Shares are now Hold from Buy at BB&T Capital.

(See also: New Stock Coverage: Super Mario's Heirs Have Left Nintendo Co., Ltd in Good Hands and Stock Upgrades: Inc Is Going Places.)
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