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Stock Downgrades: Travelers Set to Head South?


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

MINYANVILLE ORIGINAL Investors adamant on going to the ends of the Earth found there was no place like home on Monday. Pride of Mongolia Molycorp (MCP) fell 4.52% and Saks (SKS) slipped in an up market after going all Borat on us, opening an outpost in Kazakhstan. Negative analyst comments precipitated a 6.08% slide in Wendy's (WEN), which will always be remembered for an iconic ad from January 1984.

There must have been something in the water on Madison Avenue back then, for Apple (AAPL) memorably mocked International Business Machines (IBM) the same month. The latter, up 1.46% to an all-time closing high of $211.75, got the last laugh on the former, which fell a further 1.16%.

No top-tier economic data due today but earnings announcements are expected out of Acuity Brands (AYI), Mosaic (MOS), Resources Connections (RECN), and Xyratex (XRTX).

Agrium (AGU): AGU gets downgraded to Hold from Action List Buy at TD Securities.

Allegheny Technologies (ATI): Saying there remains the risk of downward revisions to 2013 earnings estimates, Cowen cuts the company to Neutral from Outperform.

AXA Group (AXAHY): Shares in the French insurance outfit are falling in Paris this morning after being downgraded to Equal Weight from Overweight with Credit Suisse.

Baidu (BIDU): The stock is downgraded to Outperform from Strong Buy at Raymond James, which cuts its target to $137 from $165.

BB&T Corp (BBT): Shares are downgraded to Hold from Buy at Deutsche Bank due to net interest margin pressure.

Brooks Automation (BRKS): The stock is downgraded to Underweight from Equal Weight by Barclays.

Consolidated Edison (ED): ED is taken to Underperform from Neutral at Credit Suisse.

Crédit Agricole (CRARY): Société Générale cuts the company to Hold from Buy.

European Banks: Barclays, Lloyds (LYG), and Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) are all now Neutral from Buy at UBS.

Fifth Third Bancorp (FITB): FITB is downgraded to Market Perform from Outperform at Wells Fargo.

FormFactor (FORM): FORM is downgraded to Underweight from Equal Weight by Barclays.

Goldcorp (GG): GG gets downgraded to Hold from Buy at Deutsche Bank with a price objective of $48.

KB Home (KBH): Shares are slashed to Sell from Neutral at Citigroup.

Safeway (SWY): The grocer gets downgraded to Underperform from Neutral at Credit Suisse, whose target price is now $15.

Starwood Hotels (HOT): HOT is downgraded to Outperform from Strong Buy at Raymond James.

Travelers (NYSE:TRV) The Dow (^DJI) member, a stellar performer of late, gets lowered to Buy from Conviction Buy at Goldman Sachs, which cites a lack of near-term catalysts.

Wells Fargo (WFC): WFC is downgraded to Hold from Buy at Deutsche Bank.

Whiting Petroleum (WLL): The energy outfit is now Neutral from Buy at Suntrust Robinson Humphrey.

Winnebago Industries (WGO): WGO gets downgraded to Neutral from Outperform at Robert W. Baird.

(See also: New Stock Coverage: Hologic Makes Complete Cents and Stock Upgrades: Pan American Silver Good as Gold.)
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