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Stock Downgrades: Volvo No Longer Safe Place to Park Your Cash

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

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Most markets moved higher, although it was a mighty close run and stocks may still post their weekly loss of 2013. Yesterday's photo finish certainly helped Shutterfly (SFLY), which surged 20.27% to top the Nasdaq (^IXIC). Clearly the digital camera never lies but when it makes the planet's most beautiful person look less than stellar, it occasionally tells tall tales. Madison Square Garden (MSG) racked up net profits, finishing up 2.36% at a fresh peak, after which its best known tenant promptly tanked.

Also ending at a new summit after upbeat analyst comments was Botox maker Allergan (AGN), causing a strangely silent Silvio Berlusconi to turn the other cheek.

This afternoon in economics, December consumer credit data is due at 3:00 p.m. Eastern. On the earnings front, Activision Blizzard (ATVI), Cigna (CI), Credit Suisse (CS), Daimler (PINK:DDAIY), Hasbro (HAS), Kohlberg Kravis Roberts (KKR), LinkedIn (LNKD), New York Times (NYT), Sony (SNE), and Sprint Nextel (S) are all expected to reveal results.

Akamai Technologies (AKAM): The tech stock is taken to Hold from Buy at Jefferies.

Diageo (DEO): The Guinness brewer gets downgraded to Sector Perform from Outperform at RBC Capital, which says cash flow is required to fund additional storage capacity and production.

Fox Chase Bancorp (FXCB): Sandler O'Neill slashes the stock to Hold from Buy.

Google (GOOG): Shares, recently trading at historic highs, are now Neutral from Buy at Sterne Agee.

Ignite Restaurant (IRG): Robert W. Baird reduces its rating to Neutral from Outperform, trimming its target price by $3 to $15 in the process. Issues include incremental risks related to increased operating complexity, and a less certain earnings environment in 2013.

Johnson & Johnson (JNJ): The key Dow (^DJI) component is lowered to Underperform from Neutral at Credit Suisse.

L'Oreal (PINK: LRLCY) Société Générale cuts the cosmetics company to Hold from Buy.

National Grid (NGG): NGG gets downgraded to Neutral from Overweight at HSBC Securities.

Owens Corning (OC): OC is cut to Hold from Buy at KeyBanc.

Stryker (SYK): Credit Suisse moves the medical device maker to Neutral from Outperform.

TriQuint Semiconductor (TQNT): TQNT is taken to Hold from Buy at Needham, which notes that earnings are under pressure and catalysts appear limited.

Viacom (VIAB): Another day, another downgrade for the MTV owner, today moved to Neutral from Outperform with Wedbush, which predicts a potential lag in its advertising recovery. The price objective of $63 is intact.

Virgin Media (VMED): Deutsche Bank downgrades the stock, no longer trading on fundamentals following an acquisition offer, to Hold from Buy.

Visa (V): Shares are moved to Market Perform from Outperform with Wells Fargo.

Volvo (PINK:VOLVY): The Swedish car company, famous for the perceived safety of its vehicles, gets cut to Hold from Buy at Deutsche Bank.

(See also: New Stock Coverage: AOL Not Dialing Up Dollars and Stock Upgrades: Yahoo's Recovery Picks Up Pace.)
No positions in stocks mentioned.
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