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Stock Downgrades: Kate Upton, Maytag Repairman Can't Save Whirlpool

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

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Neither The Other Woman nor the Maytag repairman appear able to save Whirlpool Corp. (NYSE:WHR) today. The kitchen appliance company, whose brands include KitchenAid and Maytag, was co-founded by the supermodel's great grandfather Frederick Upton. Shares advanced an impressive 2.87% on Monday after company management announced its intention to reaffirm earnings guidance for fiscal 2014 at an industry conference tomorrow. An analyst at Longbow is less optimistic, however, citing concerns such as declining demand in Brazil and a suddenly-softening housing market here at home.
 
John Hamm looked very different in 1996. As indeed - at least until its redesign that March 25 - did the 100-dollar bill. One thing that hasn't changed however, is "irrational exuberance" on Wall Street. When Mr. Greenspan uttered the phrase some 18 years ago, the Dow (INDEXDJX:.DJI) stood at 6,421.80; yesterday's record run took it to 16,695.47. So it is still all about the Benjamins, whichever way you slice it. Unfortunately, Don Draper didn't join in the fun, as Omnicom (NYSE:OMC) and Publicis (OTCMKTS:PUBGY) - not to mention Mad Men broadcaster AMC Networks (NASDAQ:AMCX) -- endured a trifecta of trouble. (And let's spare a thought for his sidekick Roger Sterling, cursed with the most infamous surname in America.) Indeed it was a difficult day for Madison Avenue, with Robin Williams' ad executive getting the boot and the industry's immortal jingle "Nobody Doesn't Like Sara Lee" proving dead wrong as its owner Hillshire Brands (NYSE:HSH) fell 3.22% after buying Pinnacle Foods (NYSE:PF).
 
Today in economics, March business inventories are expected to expand from February's pace at 10:00 a.m. E.D.T. On the earnings front, expect announcements out of Abercrombie & Fitch (NYSE:ANF), Fossil (NASDAQ:FOSL), and Take Two Interactive (NASDAQ:TTWO).
 
Now let's look at this morning's rating reductions, an eclectic bunch that features a food company currently in the news, plus headline stock Whirlpool.

B/E Aerospace (NASDAQ:BEAV): JP Morgan moves the stock to Neutral from Overweight.
 
Carmike Cinemas (NASDAQ:CKEC): Due to valuation concerns, shares get taken to Hold from Buy with a $35 price target at Topeka Capital Markets.
 
Hillshire Brands: The stock, upgraded elsewhere this morning, is now Neutral from Overweight at JP Morgan.
 
Oil Service Stocks: Baker Hughes (NYSE:BHI) and Nabors Industries (NYSE:NBR) are both moved to Market Perform from Outperform by Sanford Bernstein.
 
Pinnacle Foods: Stifel slashes the stock to Hold from Buy. It does not anticipate another offer emerging for the company.
 
Safeguard Scientifics (NYSE:SFE): Shares get downgraded to Equal Weight from Overweight at First Analysis.
 
Whirlpool: Longbow lowers today's headline equity to Neutral from Buy.
 
Also see:

New Stock Coverage: Can Global Cash Access Put Money in Your Pocket?

Stock Upgrades: Hillshire Brands Shows Nobody Doesn't Like Sara Lee
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No positions in stocks mentioned.
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