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Stock Downgrades: Band-Aid Giant Johnson & Johnson Gets Big Cut


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

MINYANVILLE ORIGINAL Dorothy's dress will go for big bucks at a Beverly Hills auction but the pink slips may soon be showing at Green Dot (GDOT) after its 20.23% tumble. Jack Welch's sour grapes juice was a boon to the world's largest winemaker Constellation Brands (STZ), which hit the highest level in its history on an analyst upgrade. The ex-CEO has been told those who live in glass houses shouldn't throw stones but Apple (AAPL), based in the biggest glass house of all, tumbled another 2.21%.

A quiet start to the week in economics continues, with no top-tier data due, but Alcoa (AA) unofficially ushers in what is expected to be a no better than mediocre third quarter earnings season when it reports after the close. Corporate results are also expected out of Chevron (CVX) and Yum Brands (YUM).

ANN Inc. (ANN): The clothing company formerly known as AnnTaylor is moved to Equal-Weight from Overweight at Morgan Stanley.

Arch Coal (ACI): Goldman Sachs slashes the commodity company to Sell from Neutral.

Baidu Inc. (BIDU): Shares get downgraded to Underperform from Neutral at Credit Suisse.

DirecTV (DTV): DTV is downgraded to Neutral from Overweight at JPMorgan, whose target is $58.

Dow Chemical (DOW): DOW is now Neutral from Positive at Susquehanna to reflect reduced 2012 and 2013 earnings estimates.

Edison International (EIX): Shares are downgraded to Hold from Buy at Jefferies due to valuation issues.

Fluidigm (FLDM): Shares are downgraded to Neutral from Buy at Mizuho.

Johnson & Johnson (JNJ): The Dow (^DJI) component gets cut to Sell from Neutral at Goldman Sachs, which cites a lack of pipeline catalysts among other concerns. The price target is $72.

Intel (INTC): The tech titan, another blue chip, is trading off ahead of today's opening bell on an Underperform-from-Market Perform ratings reduction by Stanford Bernstein.

Netflix (NFLX): Bank of America-Merrill Lynch lowers the recently surging stock by an unusual 180 degrees, to Underperform from Buy.

Progress Software (PRGS): Shares are downgraded from Buy to Neutral at Mizuho.

State Auto Financial (STFC): Shares are moved to to Underperform from Market Perform at Keefe Bruyette.

Taseko Mines (TGB): Canaccord takes TGB to Hold from Buy based on valuation.

Veolia Environnement (VE): VE is downgraded to Neutral from Overweight at HSBC Securities.

(See also: Stock Upgrades: Party Time for Shoe Carnival and New Stock Coverage: Avoid Apple Picking This Fall?)
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No positions in stocks mentioned.
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