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Stock Downgrades: eBay Inc's Attic Is Empty

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

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Most equities advanced, but Ken and Barbie both paid mightily for their addiction to plastic. Ken Chenault's American Express (AXP) dropped 1.88% to lead Dow (^DJI) laggards while Mattel's (MAT) 6.84% mauling made it the S&P 500′s (^GSPC) single poorest performer. If money woes are putting a strain on the iconic couple's relationship, they could do worse than see other people. Especially on a day matchmaking service Jiayuan.com (DATE) surged 22.56% to a fresh 52-week peak.

As a show about rubes in rural Georgia made a return to our TV screens, a company named after unsophisticated Southerners topped all stocks as Yahoo (YHOO) surged 10.34%. It was a good day for Goodyear (GT), which finished up 3.15% at a fresh 52-week peak. The tire company still can't hold a candle to Lego, however. And Angela Merkel got the best possible birthday president, as Athens narrowly adopted its latest austerity measure.

Today in economics, July's Philadelphia Fed Index and June leading indicators are each released at 10:00 a.m. Eastern. Fed head Ben Bernanke concludes his two-day testimony on Capitol Hill. And earnings announcements are expected out of Advanced Micro Devices (AMD), BlackRock (BLK), Capital One Financial (COF), Chipotle Mexican Grill (CMG), Google (GOOG), Microsoft (MSFT), Morgan Stanley (MS), Nokia (NOK), United Health (UNH), and Verizon (VZ).

Alexco Resources (AXU): Shares are slashed to Sell from Hold at Canaccord Genuity.

American Express (AXP): Susquehanna cuts the charge card company, a key Dow (^DJI) component, to Neutral from Positive after last night's earnings announcement.

ASML Holding (ASML): Piper Jaffray takes the tech stock to Neutral from Buy.

Atlantic Power (AT): The stock is reduce to Underperform from Perform at RBC Capital.

Citrix Systems (CTXS): Raymond James reduces its rating on the tech stock to Market Perform from Outperform.

Deutsche Lufthansa (DLAKY): The German air carrier gets downgraded to Neutral from Buy at JPMorgan.

eBay Inc (EBAY): The online auctioneer, slumping more than 6% this morning, is now Hold from Buy at Needham. Earnings revealed worrying weakness in international markets and issues over marketplace growth rates.

Merck (MRK): BMO Capital moves the Dow member to Market Perform from Outperform.

Elizabeth Arden (RDEN): Oppenheimer cuts the cosmetics company to Perform from Outperform.

M&T Bank (MTB): The regional financial firm is slashed to Hold from Buy at Sandler O'Neill.

Nexstar (NXST): NXST is now Equal Weight from Overweight at Evercore.

Northern Trust (NTRS): The stock gets downgraded to Underweight from Neutral at JPMorgan.

SanDisk (SNDK): Morgan Stanley moves the shares to Equal-Weight from Overweight. Shares are, however, currently surging about 4% amid better than expected Q2 earnings.

Talisman Energy (TLM): JPMorgan takes TLM to Underweight from Equal Weight.

Xilinx (XLNX): Shares, upgraded elsewhere today, are also downgraded to Market Perform from Outperform with Wells Fargo.

ZAGG Inc. (ZAGG): Ladenburg lowers the slumping stock to Neutral from Buy.

(See also: Stock Upgrades: PetSmart, Inc. in the Catbird Seat and New Stock Coverage: Fiesta Restaurant Group Inc Prepares to Party.)
No positions in stocks mentioned.
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