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Stock Downgrades: Walgreen Unable to Avoid Sea of Red


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

MINYANVILLE ORIGINAL New Oriental Education (EDU), which schools students in China, fell 50.57% last week even as impressively educated prodigal son Jeremy Lin secured a money-spinning move to Houston. Having graduated from Harvard with a degree in economics he knows better than most that basketball is all about cold hard cash. Love has precious little to do with it, as evidenced by all those now discarded Valentine's messages directed his way back in the day. (For what it's worth Tiffany (TIF), that emblem of eternal admiration, jumped after an analyst upgrade.)

And on the eve of the Olympics London Mayor Boris Johnson berated America for causing Britain's credit crunch. Which is a bit rich considering he comes from… New York.

No fewer than 175 of the S&P 500 are expected to announce quarterly earnings this week. Today's key Q2 results include African Barrick Gold (ABGLF), Celanese Corp. (CE), Hasbro (HAS), McDonald's (MCD), Steel Dynamics (STLD), Texas Instruments (TXN), and VMware (VMW).

Akorn (AKRX): The company is cut to Hold from Buy at Deutsche Bank amid a weaker than expected Vancomycin launch. The target is taken to $14 from $15.

AK Steel (AKS): The firm is now Neutral from Buy at UBS, sending shares lower ahead of the opening bell.

Albemarle (ALB): ALB is removed from the Top Picks Live list at Citigroup.

Associated Estates (AEC): AEC is downgraded to Hold from Buy at Jefferies.

Danone (DANOY): The world's biggest yogurt maker is lower in Europe today after Société Générale took it to Hold from Buy.

Deckers Outdoor (DECK): DECK is downgraded to Underperform from Neutral at Sterne Agee.

EastGroup (EGP): The company is downgraded to Hold from Buy with Wunderlich due to valuation issues.

Gardner Denver (GDI): Shares get downgraded to Neutral from Buy at Janney Capital, which cites concerns including overcapacity.

Hotel Stocks: LaSalle Hotel Properties (LHO) is downgraded to Neutral from Buy at Goldman, while peer Marriott International (MAR) is pulled from its Conviction Buy List.

Kinross Gold (KGC): Macquarie moves the miner to Neutral from Outperform.

Penn National Gaming (PENN): Shares are downgraded to Hold from Buy at KeyBanc.

Textron (TXT): TXT gets taken to Sector Perform from Outperform at RBC Capital.

VeriSign (VRSN): Shares are now Neutral from Buy at Citigroup amid a lack of catalysts. The new lower target price is $46.

Walgreen (WAG): The company is now Neutral from Buy at UBS.

Wintrust Financial (WTFC): Shares are downgraded to Neutral from Outperform at Macquarie.

(See also: Stock Upgrades: Light at end of Tunnel for Illumina and New Stock Coverage: Elan Lacks a Little Panache.)
No positions in stocks mentioned.
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