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Stock Downgrades: Facebook Gets Defriended

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

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MINYANVILLE ORIGINAL In last week's tepid tech tape, Hewlett-Packard (HPQ), founded in a Palo Alto garage, plunged 14% and Apple Inc. (AAPL), founded in a Los Altos garage, tumbled 2.2%. With the Golden State's gas prices at all-time highs as we speak, California's garages may remain beehives of entrepreneurial activity as its autos increasingly stand idle.

Sirona Dental Systems (SIRO) finished Friday at the highest level in its history. One could say they put their money where their mouth is - a joke that, unlike that mastodon tooth reeled in by a fortunate fisherman, never gets old. The Hollywood sign, looking every inch its age, got a facelift like so many in Tinseltown and Netflix (NFLX) - upgraded this morning - enjoyed a Hollywood ending in jumping 22%. Elsewhere Tractor Supply (TSCO) finished the week at an all-time peak but there was no fun on the FarmVille for Zynga (ZNGA), which imploded 13% to a fresh trough.

No top-tier economic data due today, and both banks and the bond market are closed for Columbus Day. On the earnings front, AngioDynamics (ANGO) reports results.

Abercrombie & Fitch (ANF): Crédit Agricole cuts the clothing company to Outperform from Buy amid a lack of visibility into the timing of a turnaround. Its price objective is $39.

Aegon (AEG): AEG gets downgraded to Neutral from Buy at Nomura.

Ashland (ASH): Shares are now Neutral from Overweight at JPMorgan based on valuation.

Facebook (NASDAQ:FB) Shares are cut by BTIG Research to Sell from Neutral with a $16 target.

Imperial Tobacco (ITYBY): The tobacco company is downgraded to Reduce from Neutral at Nomura.

KeyCorp (KEY): Deutsche Bank cuts KEY to Hold from Buy based on net interest margin risk from the drop in residential mortgage securities yields.

Packaging Corp. (PKG): Shares are lower before the bell on a downgrade to Neutral from Buy at DA Davidson.

Panera Bread (PNRA): The stock is downgraded to Market Perform from Outperform by BMO Capital, whose objective is $180.

Parker-Hannifin (PH): PH gets lowered to Underperform from Neutral at Longbow.

RDA Microelectronics (RDA): RDA is reduced to Equal-Weight from Overweight at Morgan Stanley.

Renasant (RNST): Shares are downgraded to Hold from Buy with Wunderlich.

Sonoco Products (SON): SON is now Neutral from Buy at DA Davidson.

Swift Energy (SFY): Shares are now Neutral from Buy at SunTrust due to valuation.

Texas Instruments (TXN): TXN is taken to Hold from Buy at ISI Group amid a high exposure to industrial and distribution segments.

Vivendi (VIVHY): The French firm is downgraded to Neutral from Buy at Citigroup.

Walt Disney (DIS): The Dow (^DJI) member is downgraded to Average from Above Average at Caris.

Western Gas Partners (WES): Shares are now Neutral from Buy at UBS, whose new target is $51.

(See also: Stock Upgrades: Stars Align for Constellation Brands and New Stock Coverage: Cable Guy Keeps Investors Waiting.)
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No positions in stocks mentioned.
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