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Stock Downgrades: Just Say No to Nokia


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

MINYANVILLE ORIGINAL A fall came before Pilgrim's Pride (PPC), the poultry processor declining 4.76%, but that was nothing compared with what happened to Nokia (NOK) from Finland, birthplace of Angry Birds. It imploded 15.77% in posting the NYSE's poorest performance, and stands at its lowest level since 1996. That was the year Alan Greenspan famously warned of us of "irrational exuberance" in equities but China is going one better and making preparations to party like it's 1999. In its case, however, that's not a good thing, as analysts are now projecting the country's slowest growth rate in 13 years. PIIGS misery was compounded by a 5.57% plunge in Smithfield Foods (SFD), the world's largest pork producer. And in an especially ominous sign Nike (NKE), named after the Greek goddess of victory, tumbled 2.15% despite scoring a research recommendation. Voters in Athens and investors elsewhere are indeed "on a tightrope" ahead of this weekend's elections. At least they are in good company tonight 1,800 feet across Niagara Falls. Advice to each? Good luck, and don't dare look down.

Annaly Capital (NLY): Shares are now Neutral from Buy at Compass Point due to valuation concerns.

Exelon (EXC): Shares are now Neutral from Overweight at Atlantic Equities.

Family Dollar (FDO): The stock is slipping before the bell on a downgrade to Equal Weight from Overweight by Barclays.

Nokia (NOK): Credit Suisse cuts the handset maker to Neutral from Outperform. It wrote in a note that "the company's path to recovery in smartphone business has proven to be more challenging than our initial expectations."

Rentokil (RTOKY): The British lawn care company is lowered to Underperform from Neutral by BNP Paribas.

Sprint Nextel (S): Shares are removed from the Short-Term Buy List at Deutsche Bank.

(See also: Stock Upgrades: Predicting Profits at Oracle and New Stock Coverage: Callaway Golf in the Green.)
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