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Stock Downgrades: LivePerson Looks Like Dead Money


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

MINYANVILLE ORIGINAL Danone (DANOY), downgraded this morning, lost 5.62% after issuing a profit warning. Earlier this year the firm hired proud Athenian John Stamos, whose family name was originally Stamatopoulos, to plug its Oikos Greek yogurt. A singularly stupid move in the current climate, which is why For Dummies publisher John Wiley & Sons (JW-A) just jumped 2.87% after its fourth-quarter profit easily beat Street estimates.

The Federal Open Market Committee concludes its two-day policy meeting today at 12:30 p.m. Eastern, with Ben Bernanke's press conference scheduled to follow at 2:15 p.m. In earnings action, Apogee Enterprises (APOG), Bed Bath & Beyond (BBBY), Crown Crafts (CRWS), Hennes & Mauritz (HNNMY), Micron Technology (MU), Red Hat (RHT), and Steelcase (SCS) are all due to report results.

Acme Packet (APKT): The stock is downgraded to Hold from Buy at Jefferies.

Adobe Systems (ADBE): Shares, slumping before the bell, are downgraded to Underperform from Market Perform at JMP Securities.

AthenaHealth (ATHN): The stock is taken to Underperform from Neutral at Sterne Agee.

CH Energy (CHG): CHG gets downgraded to Sell from Hold by Brean Murray.

Cirrus Logic (CRUS): Needham downgrades CRUS to Buy from Strong Buy based on valuation.

Danone (DANOY): Shares are downgraded to Neutral from Buy at UBS.

HSN Inc (HSNI): Citi cuts the Home Shopping Network owner to Neutral from Buy.

Kirby (KEX): KEX is cut to Outperform from Top Pick at RBC Capital.

LivePerson (LPSN): Shares are lowered to Neutral from Buy at Janney Montgomery Scott.

Managed care: Coventry Health Care (CVH) and WellPoint (WLP) are each lowered to Market Perform from Outperform at Leerink Swann.

Oil stocks: ConocoPhillips (COP) is downgraded to Sell from Neutral at Goldman, which pulls China Petroleum (SNP) from its list of Conviction Buys.

Rockwell Collins (COL): COL gets cut to Sell from Neutral at Goldman.

Rosetta Resources (ROSE): ROSE is reduced to Market Perform from Outperform by BMO Capital.

Southern Company (SO): Bank of America-Merrill Lynch moves the stock to Neutral from Buy.

Walgreen (WAG): WAG is lower ahead of the open after getting downgraded to Neutral from Outperform at Macquarie and others, which would prefer to see the company focus on the opportunities and challenges in the U.S. drugstore market.

Western Refining (WNR): Shares are now Neutral from Buy at Goldman.

(See also: New Stock Coverage: Stay in School Stocks? and Stock Upgrades: Say Hello to Cisco.)
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No positions in stocks mentioned.
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