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Stock Downgrades: Spirit Airlines Shares Not Levitating Any Time Soon


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

MINYANVILLE ORIGINAL The World Meteorological Organization admitted an error after 99 years. Their mea culpa still came quicker than that offered by many similarly inaccurate economists, whose lightning-fast predictive powers are often unfavorably compared with weather forecasters.

Yesterday the market mediums blamed a hurricane for again erring in their unemployment forecasts. In analyst action Signet Jewelers (SIG), whose head once said some of its own offerings were "total crap," increased 3.46% on an upbeat initiation. And, showing an admirable sense of humor, another equity researcher chose International Chocolate Day to cut confectionery king Nestlé (NSRGY).

On the earnings front, Cubic Corp. (CUB) is among the companies due to release quarterly results today. A manic morning in economics includes September's preliminary consumer sentiment survey from the University of Michigan at 9:55 a.m. Eastern and July business inventories at 10:00 a.m.

CME Group (CME): The stock is now Underweight from Neutral at JPMorgan due to falling trading volumes. The target is also taken down by $2.50, to $54.

Comerica (CMA): Concerned about both an absence of earnings catalysts and its rich multiple, Stifel Nicolaus slashes the shares to Sell from Hold.

Cracker Barrel Old Country Store (CBRL): CBRL is cut to Hold from Buy at KeyBanc due to increased commodity costs.

Knight Transportation (KNX): Shares are now Neutral from Buy at Citigroup.

Level 3 Communications (LVLT): LVLT gets lowered to Underperform from Market Perform at Raymond James.

Quest Diagnostics (DGX): DGX gets downgraded to Neutral from Outperform at Credit Suisse, whose target is $67.

Regional Banks: Citizens Republic (CRBC) and Westamerica (WABC) are each cut to Market Perform from Outperform at Keefe Bruyette, the latter with a $50 price objective.

REITs: Weingarten Realty (WRI) and Saul Centers (BFS) are each now Neutral from Outperform at Robert W. Baird.

Spirit Airlines (SAVE): SAVE is moved to Market Perform from Outperform at Raymond James after an earnings miss.

Synaptics (SYNA): Lazard Capital lowers the shares to Neutral from Buy.

Telecoms: Dual Dow (^DJI) components AT&T Inc. (T) and Verizon (VZ) are each taken to Hold from Buy at Stifel Nicolaus. Valuation issues and reduced estimates due to Apple's (AAPL) upcoming iPhone 5 launch are among its concerns.

Trina Solar (TSL): TSL is taken to Underperform from Market Perform at Raymond James, which references weak cash flow.

Viacom (VIAB): The MTV owner is downgraded to Equal Weight from Overweight at Evercore.

Werner Enterprises (WERN): Shares are now Neutral from Buy at Citi, which cites increased operating expenses.

Western Digital (WDC): The tech stock is taken to Sector Perform from Outperform at FBN Securities.

(See also: New Stock Coverage: Children's Place in Prime of Life and Stock Upgrades: Check's in the Mail at Post-It Maker 3M.)
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