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Stock Downgrades: Red Ink for Green Dot


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

MINYANVILLE ORIGINAL In a soft market (STMP) rose 4.40%, one longtime user of the postal service helpfully including a return address of "US Penitentiary-Max, P.O. Box 8500, Florence, CO" in his Harvard yearbook. Michael Dell (DELL) went to the University of Texas, whose standards appear to be slipping. Yet not as much as his shares, which slumped 17.18% in its worst single day drop since 2000, the year the tech titan famously recruited a spokesman who got high, even if his stock options didn't. In analyst action, upbeat comments enabled Facebook to advance 3.23% and finally snap a three session funk. An upgrade of Blackstone Group (BX), whose sober sexagenarian CEO Stephen Schwarzman could teach the young hoodie-wearing head honchos of Silicon Valley a thing or two about responsibility, enabled it to end up again. The man who masterminded a bailout that cost $700 billion stuck a book deal with the ironically named Free Press. And, in a sign of the times, a pawn shop worker is the new American Idol. Today's earnings activity includes announcements out of Costco (COST), Flowers Foods (FLOW), H.J. Heinz (HNZ), SABMiller (SBMRY.PK), Signet Jewelers (SIG), Tiffany (TIF),Toronto-Dominion Bank (TD), and VeriFone Systems (PAY).

Baker Hughes (BHI): Société Générale downgrades the stock to Hold from Buy, sending it lower before the bell.

Green Dot (GDOT): GDOT gets downgraded to Equal Weight from Overweight at Morgan Stanley.

Human Genome Sciences (HGSI): HGSI is downgraded to Market Perform from Outperform at BMO Capital.

Ituran Location and Control (ITRN): Shares are downgraded to Perform from Outperform at Oppenheimer.

RailAmerica (RA): RA is reduced to Neutral from Overweight at JPMorgan.

Wisconsin Energy (WEC): The stock is now Neutral from Buy at UBS.

(See New Stock Coverage: Only Mad Men Love AMC and Stock Upgrades: Arch Coal a Hot Stock?)
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