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Stock Downgrades: Ketchup King Heinz Doesn't Pass Muster


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

MINYANVILLE ORIGINAL Research In Motion (RIMM) fell 3.43%, resulting in a fresh eight-year low for the firm based in Ontario's Waterloo. Belgium's "Waterloo" memorably won ABBA the 1974 Eurovision Song Contest, the 57th iteration of which takes place tomorrow in Azerbaijan. The host country appears to have perfectly captured Europe's current mood with the upbeat ditty "When the Music Dies" but all eyes will of course be on Greece, whose representative Eleftheria Eleftheriou will be singing a lovely little number called "Aphrodisiac." Ms. Eleftheriou was actually born in Cyprus, which recently experienced a power cut that affected the entire country, an exquisite metaphor for a continent's crisis. And to think Henry Kissinger, that wily German, once called power the "ultimate aphrodisiac." It's a quiet Friday for quarterly earnings announcements and the bond market is set to close early at 2:00 p.m. EDT ahead of the holiday weekend. In economic data, analysts expect the University of Michigan's final figure for May consumer confidence to slip slightly at 9:55 a.m.

HJ Heinz (HNZ): Shares are downgraded to Neutral from Overweight at JPMorgan and taken to Hold from Buy at Jefferies.

Lululemon athletica (LULU): The yoga apparel company is lowered to Hold from Buy at Keybanc Capital. Concerns include a more cautious view on the US high-end consumer, coupled with relative valuation.

Maxwell Technologies (MXWL): Shares are sharply lower before the bell on a downgrade to Neutral from Outperform with Wedbush.

NetApp (NTAP): NTAP is now Hold from Buy at Argus due to deepening concerns about revenues, earnings, and market share.

Viacom (VIAB): The owner of MTV is moved to Above Average from Buy at Caris & Company.

(See also: New Stock Coverage: Hain Celestial Shoots for the Stars and Stock Upgrades: High Fives for ARM Holdings.)
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