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Stock Downgrades: Zynga Is in the Doghouse

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

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Congress, fighting the last war as ever, yesterday turned its attention to a Russian meteor from February when it should really be more concerned with a potential economic explosion currently heading Moscow's way via Cyprus.

A downgraded Electronic Arts (EA), whose titles include Battlefield, Command & Conquer, and Medal of Honor, imploded 8.34% on a bloody tenth anniversary of the Iraq war. Critics who claimed that the conflict was little more than a Halliburton (HAL) land-grab note with interest that stock tumbled 2.73% as oil service shares endured a second down day.

Perhaps we would have been better off adhering to the Pottery Barn rule. After all, by an interesting twist of irony its owner Williams-Sonoma (WSM) announced earnings yesterday of all days, and is surging some 5.07% before the opening bell.

The Federal Open Market Committee today concludes its two-day policy meeting, with an interest rate announcement expected at the new time of 2:00 p.m. Eastern. On the corporate front, FedEx (FDX), General Mills (GIS), Guess (GES), Jabil Circuit (JBL), Lennar (LEN), and Oracle (ORCL) are all due to announce earnings.

Adobe Systems (ADBE): A contrary cut for the Acrobat owner, which is jumping before the bell after announcing earnings. It is slashed to Hold from Buy at Stifel.

AGCO Corporation (AGCO): Shares are downgraded to Underperform from Market Perform at Wells Fargo.

AmerisourceBergen (ABC): The stock, a stellar performer on Tuesday and upgraded elsewhere this morning, gets cut to Neutral from Buy with a $54 target price at ISI Group. An excessive valuation multiple relative to competitors warrants greater caution at current levels, the broker believes.

Cardinal Health (CAH): Citigroup slashes the shares to Neutral from Buy after yesterday's steep slide.

Cimarex (XEC): The company is moved to Market Perform from Outperform at FBR Capital, whose target is $72.

Con-way Inc. (CNW): CNW gets cut to Equal Weight from Overweight at Stephens after the company issues a first quarter profit warning. The stock
is down slightly before the bell as I write.

Coventry Health Care (CVH): Talk about being "Sent to Coventry" -- shares are slashed to Market Perform from Outperform with Wells.

Deere (DE): The tractor titan, which tumbled 1.36% on Tuesday, is today taken to Underperform from Market Perform with Wells.

Maxwell Technologies (MXWL): Piper Jaffray moves MXWL to Neutral from Overweight.

Symantec (SYMC): Shares get downgraded to Perform from Outperform at Oppenheimer due to valuation.

Tesoro Logistics (TLLP): Wunderlich lowers the limited partnership to Hold from Buy, believing better value presently exists elsewhere a strong recent run in the stock.

Walgreen (WAG): The recently surging stock - upgraded elsewhere today - gets pulled from Goldman Sachs' list of Conviction Buys.

Zynga (NASDAQ:ZNGA): The social gaming firm famous for its canine logo is now Neutral from Buy at Bank of America-Merrill Lynch. Its analysts wrote in a note that "competitive real-money poker launches and summer seasonality on core businesses could limit further enthusiasm." The intact price objective is $3.90, and shares are accordingly slumping 3.51% in today's pre-market trading.

(See also: New Stock Coverage: Has Whole Foods Become Spoiled? and Stock Upgrades: BlackBerry Is All Green Thumbs.)
No positions in stocks mentioned.
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