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Stock Downgrades: Writing Is on the Wall for A.T. Cross Company

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

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To celebrate Canada Day, US stocks headed north, although - in the words of South Park- we can "Blame Canada" for downgrade-related implosions in our Canuck cousins Barrick Gold (ABX) and Research In Motion (BBRY).

Tribune Co. (TRBAA), whose erroneous "Dewey Defeats Truman" front page from 1948 made headlines for all the wrong reasons, jumped 5.45%. A. H. Belo (AHC), whose Dallas "Mourning" News cover from November 23, 1963 made us all weep, slumped 3.50%. And did Gordon Gekko have inside info? No sooner does he play pianist Liberace, than hitherto sleepy stock Steinway Musical Instruments (LVB) surges some 15.94%.

Today in economics, factory orders for May are out at 10:00 a.m. Eastern. On the earnings front, expect announcements from Acuity Brands (AYI), Constellation Brands (STZ), Greenbrier Companies (GBX), and Zep, Inc. (ZEP).

Accenture Plc (ACN): The recently-slumping consulting company gets cut to Hold from Buy at Argus.

A.T. Cross Company (ATX): Roth Capital reduces America's premier pen maker to Neutral from Buy due to valuation issues after shares surged 74.27% in the past year to a new historic high yesterday.

Barrick Gold Corporation (USA) (ABX): A second downgrade in as many days for the commodity company, today taken to Hold from Buy at Jefferies.

CME Group Inc (CME): The exchange operator is moved to Market Perform from Outperform at Raymond James.

Hubbell Incorporated (HUBB): RBC Capital Markets moves the stock to Sector Perform from Outperform.

Illumina, Inc. (ILMN): Shares are now Neutral from Overweight at Piper Jaffray.

Linn Energy LLC (LINE): LINE is lowered to Neutral from Buy at JPMorgan.

Muenchener Rueckversicherungs-Ges.AG-ADR (MURGY): The German insurance giant, better known as Munich Re, gets moved to Neutral from Overweight at JPMorgan.

Oil States International, Inc. (OIS): Shares are moved to Market Perform from Outperform at Cowen, whose new price objective is $89 amid risks in failing to spin off its Accommodations segment.

Pfizer Inc. (PFE): Standpoint Research slashes the Dow (^DJI) member to Sell from Hold. Its target price is $24.

Hudson Technologies, Inc. (HDSN): The stock is reduced to Neutral from Buy at Roth Capital.

Tractor Supply Company (TSCO): Shares are now Neutral from Buy at Nomura.

Transocean LTD (RIG): RIG is reduced to Neutral from Buy at Citigroup.

Wells Fargo & Co (WFC): Keefe Bruyette cuts the company to Market Perform from Outperform.

Wolverine World Wide, Inc. (WWW): The shoe stock gets downgraded to Neutral from Buy at DA Davidson.

(See also: New Stock Coverage: Ruckus Wireless Inc Gets Ready to Rumble and Stock Upgrades: Las Vegas Sands Corp. Is in Luck.)

Disclosure: Minyanville Studios, a division of Minyanville Media, has a business relationship with BlackBerry.
No positions in stocks mentioned.
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