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Stock Downgrades: Messing With Texas Instruments


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

MINYANVILLE ORIGINAL Facebook (FB) jumped 1.27% even though when Mark Zuckerberg went to Moscow, all Mr. Medvedev got was this lousy tee-shirt. Just as well the billionaire was frugal with his gift, as in Russia, business bribes apparently aren't tax deductible. Pity, with H&R Block (HRB) hitting a multi-year high yesterday.

Ahead of today's debate, both candidates fell some way short of the standards set by "Teflon President" Ronald Reagan. (Not that it did DuPont (DD) much good, with that stock dropping 1.71% in the Dow's (^DJI) poorest performance.) Mitt Romney's visit to a Chipotle Mexican Grill (CMG) sent it slumping 4.17%. And President Obama unwittingly channeled the spirit of Herbert Hoover, paying a pilgrimage to the Depression-era Dam named in his honor.

Today in economics, the Institute for Supply Management's September services index is out at 10:00 a.m. Eastern. In earnings action, Family Dollar (FDO), Marriott International (MAR), Monsanto (MON), and Wolverine World Wide (WWW) are all due to report results.

Amarin (AMRN): AMRN is now Neutral from Outperform with Wedbush.

Ann Inc (ANN): The former AnnTaylor is now Neutral from Buy at SunTrust amid relative valuation concerns.

ArQule (ARQL): Shares are downgraded to Sector Perform from Outperform at RBC Capital, which takes its price target to $6 from $11.

Discover Financial Services (DFS): Citing a lack of catalysts, Argus cuts the credit card company to Hold from Buy.

Embraer (ERJ): ERJ is now Neutral from Outperform at Cowen due to weak business jet demand trends.

Express Inc. (EXPR): Shares are downgraded to Neutral from Buy at SunTrust after lowered earnings guidance pummeled the name yesterday.

Fertilizer Stocks: Lazard lowers Mosaic (MOS) and Potash (POT), both now Neutral from Buy.

Heartland Payment Systems (HPY): Shares are slashed to Sell from Hold at Stifel Nicolaus.

Hill-Rom Holdings (HRC): The company is cut to Equal-Weight from Overweight at Morgan Stanley.

Nationstar Mortgage (NSM): NSM is now Neutral from Buy at Sterne Agee.

Smith & Nephew (SNN): Morgan Stanley moves the shares to Equal-Weight from Overweight.

Texas Instruments (NASDAQ:TXN) The semiconductor stock is taken to Sector Perform from Outperform at Pacific Crest, which cites issues arising from its connectivity business restructurings. The target is $23.

(See also: New Stock Coverage: McGraw-Hill Stands to Make Mountain of Money and Stock Upgrades: Railroads Back on Track.)
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