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Stock Downgrades: Unhappy Anniversary for JFK Adversary US Steel


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

Round tables take center stage today, but yesterday, for one brief shining moment, Wall Street was all about chairs. (Little wonder, then, that Bassett Furniture (NASDAQ:BSET) surged 7.81%.) The Dow (INDEXDJX:.DJI), in finishing above 16,000 for the first time in its illustrious history, rose 109, a truly spooky number on this the day we remember JFK. Even as US stock markets reached fresh peaks, not all equities shared in the ebullience. Online school-textbook-rental company Chegg Inc (NYSE:CHGG) fell 1.38% to a post-IPO low. How very different history would have turned out had there been no need for its brick-and-mortar equivalent in 1963. And Trinity Industries (NYSE:TRN) tumbled 5.36%. Its eerie address? Stemmons Freeway, Dallas, Texas. Five decades ago today, the Stemmons Freeway sign temporarily obscured the view of Abraham Zapruder's home movie in frame 133. In that split second, the trajectory of the 20th century changed forever.

There isn't any top-tier economic data due to move US markets today but, regarding specific stocks, Ann Inc. (NYSE:ANN), Destination XL Group (NASDAQ:DXLG), Foot Locker (NYSE:FL), PetSmart (NASDAQ:PETM), Sirona Dental Systems (NASDAQ:SIRO), and Hibbett Sports (NASDAQ:HIBB) all release quarterly results.

Abercrombie & Fitch (NYSE:ANF): Abercrombie & Fitch is moved to Market Perform from Outperform with Wells Fargo. Over the past year, stock in clothing company Abercrombie & Fitch has tumbled exactly 20%.

Everest Re (NYSE:RE): UBS cuts the insurance outfit to Neutral from Buy.

Gogo Inc. (NASDAQ:GOGO): GOGO gets downgraded to Neutral from Overweight at JPMorgan.

Liquidity Services (NASDAQ:LQDT): Janney lowers LQDT to Neutral from Buy.

Micron (NASDAQ:MU): After yesterday's David Einhorn-inspired 6.33% surge in the semiconductor stock, Bank of America-Merrill Lynch reduces its rating to Neutral from Buy.

Nucor (NYSE:NUE): NUE is now Market Perform from Outperform with Wells Fargo.

Take-Two Interactive Software (NASDAQ:TTWO): Cowen takes TTWO to Market Perform from Outperform.

Target (NYSE:TGT): More bad news for Target, whose stock tumbled 3.46% on Thursday. Today it is moved to Underperform from Neutral by Bank of America-Merrill. Target has now had four consecutive disappointing quarterly results.

The Fresh Market (TFM): The gourmet grocer gets downgraded to Neutral from Buy at Sterne Agee. Its price objective, previously $59, falls to $44.

United States Steel (NYSE:X): There was famously little love lost between John F. Kennedy and US Steel and, on this the 50th anniversary of that dreadful day in Dallas, Wells Fargo cuts the commodity company to Underperform from Market Perform. The bank cites softer steel prices in the first half of 2014 and, as a result of the analyst's action, shares are slipping some 1.40% as I write this article.

Violin Memory (NYSE:VMEM): JPMorgan moves the stock to Neutral from Overweight.

(See also: New Stock Coverage: Kennedy-Era Mad Men Live On at AMC Networks and Stock Upgrades: Dollar Tree Looks to End Its Nightmare on Elm Street)
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