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Stock Downgrades: St. Jude Medical Needs a Miracle

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

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MINYANVILLE ORIGINAL Twenty-four hours after Vikram Pandit was unceremoniously squeezed out at Citigroup (C), Indra Nooyi did little to redeem the reputation of Indian CEOs, with PepsiCo (PEP) ending down in an up market after reporting reduced revenue. It remains the official soft drink of Yankee Stadium but die-hard Mets fan David Einhorn won't find Green Mountain Coffee (GMCR) to his taste after his favorite short surged 6.29%. Knight Capital Group (KCG) gained 2.33%; good to know that 25 years after a computerized crash from hell, Wall Street's software issues have all been solved. Apollo, Greek god of light, condemned Cassandra by ensuring that her warnings were never taken seriously yet even Pollyanna can see some very dark nights ahead at Apollo (APOL), which tumbled 22.15% to an 11-year trough. And the 22nd time's the charm - yet another EU crisis summit meeting convenes today in Brussels. Other events include September Leading Indicators and October's Philadelphia Fed Index, which are each expected to show improvement at 10:00 Eastern.

It's another frenetic day for third quarter earnings, with Google (GOOG), Microsoft (MSFT), Nokia (NOK), Travelers (TRV), and Verizon (VZ) among a battery of big names due to report results.

Abbott Labs (ABT): Shares are lowered to Market Perform from Outperform at Raymond James.

Deutsche Bank (DB): DB is downgraded to Underweight from Neutral at JPMorgan, which has valuation concerns after a strong recent share price run.

Halliburton (HAL): The oil services outfit is downgraded to Equal Weight from Overweight at Stephens.

Potash (POT): The fertilizer firm is reduced to Sector Perform from Outperform at RBC Capital.

St. Jude Medical (NYSE:STJ): The medical device maker gets moved to Market Perform from Outperform by William Blair.

Stryker (SYK): Staying in the sector, shares are taken to Perform from Outperform at Oppenheimer.

Skullcandy (SKUL): Shares are slashed to Market Perform from Strong Buy at Raymond James, which notes the consumer shift towards higher priced on-ear headphones from its core strength of ear buds.

Stanley Black & Decker (SWK): The equity, a poor performer yesterday, is moved to Market Perform from Outperform at Raymond James this morning.

Suez Environment (SZEVY): Shares are now Underweight from Neutral at HSBC Securities.

(See also: Stock Upgrades: Harley Living High on the Hog and New Stock Coverage: Monro Muffler Can't Catch a Break.)
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No positions in stocks mentioned.
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