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Stock Downgrades: Adobe About to Flash Crash?


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

MINYANVILLE ORIGINAL Yesterday in the athletic apparel industry Under Armour (UA), whose outfits soak up sweat, fell 4.63% and Nike (NKE), indelibly associated with sweatshops - sorry, sweatshirts - lost 5.00% to end at its lowest level since late January. Arch rival Adidas have long sponsored the German soccer team, who yesterday beat the Dutch 2-1 in a key European Championship contest. Being on the short end of that scoreline is all too familiar for Holland, who lost by identical margins to what was then West Germany in the World Cups of 1974 and 1990. In the first match, Netherlands midfielder Willem van Hanegem said after the defeat, "I don't give a damn as long as we humiliated them. They murdered my father, sister and two brothers. I hate them." In the contest 22 years ago, Holland's Frank Rijkaard and Germany's Rudi Völler were each ejected for unruly behavior, with the former's incessant spitting at the latter earning him the nickname "the Llama" in the Munich media. With such wonderful neighborly camaraderie, how on Earth can Europe fail?

Today's earnings announcements are expected to include Kroger (KR), Lakeland Industries (LAKE), Pier 1 Imports (PIR), School Specialty (SCHS), Smithfield Foods (SFD), and Winnebago Industries (WGO).

ABB Limited (ABB): The stock gets downgraded to Hold from Buy at Deutsche Bank.

Adobe Systems (ADBE): The maker of the Flash multimedia platform is moved to Hold from Buy at Jefferies.

Banco Bilbao Vizcaya (BBVA): The beleaguered Spanish financial firm is slashed to Sell from Neutral at UBS.

Darden Restaurants (DRI): Lazard lowers the Olive Garden owner to Neutral from Buy.

Human Genome Sciences (HGSI): Shares are moved to Market Perform from Outperform at JMP Securities.

Nokia (NOK): Shares, slumping to their lowest level since 1996, are cut to Underperform from Neutral by Baird.

Nomura Holdings (NMR): As mentioned, NMR is now Hold from Buy at Jefferies.

Pengrowth Energy (PGH): The stock is lower before the opening bell after being moved to Market Perform from Outperform by BMO Capital.

Sapient (SAPE): Raymond James reduces its rating to Outperform from Strong Buy.

Taiwan Semiconductor (TSM): The tech stock is taken to Hold from Buy at BNP Paribas.

Virgin Media (VMED): Shares are now Neutral from Buy at Goldman, which also pulls the stock from its Conviction Buy List.

(See also: Stock Upgrades: Nike Set to Regain Spring in its Step and New Stock Coverage: Ignite Restaurant on Fire.)
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