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Stock Downgrades: 'Farmville' Owner Zynga Taken to Woodshed


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

MINYANVILLE ORIGINAL An analyst upgrade of pretzel maker J & J Snack Foods (JJSF) saw it jump 4.27%. Twisting himself into a pretzel was the ex CEO of Citigroup (C), whose office plaque once boasted of being the "Shatterer of Glass-Steagall." If you don't like someone's stance just wait a Weill; Sandy has now changed his tune. All this shifting on Glass-Steagall did nothing for Corning (GLW), with the world's largest glass panel maker sliding 7.71%. And Level 3 Communications (LVLT) lost 9.70% while ITT Educational Services (ESI) fell 5.54%. A penny for Mr. Weill's thoughts on that, for he once acquiesced when an equity analyst wanted to upgrade a telecom stock in order to get his kids into nursery school. Ah well, ours is not to ask 'Y.'

Today in economics, June pending home sales are due at 10:00 a.m. Eastern. In earnings action, expect announcements out of AstraZeneca (AZN), Banco Santander (SAN), Coinstar (CSTR), Dunkin' Brands (DNKN), Expedia (EXPE), Facebook (FB), Gilead (GILD), Rolls-Royce (RYCEY), Starbucks (SBUX), Volkswagen (VLKAY), and Zimmer (ZMH).

Altria Group (MO): UBS takes the tobacco titan to Neutral from Buy due to valuation concerns. Its price objective is $38.

ArcelorMittal (MT): MT is moved to Hold from Buy at ING Groep.

Arch Coal (ACI): Shares are downgraded to Hold from Buy at Stifel Nicolaus.

Caterpillar (CAT): Wells Fargo cuts the Dow component to Market Perform from Outperform.

Chico's FAS (CHS): Shares are cut to Underweight from Equal-Weight at Morgan Stanley.

Cliffs Natural Resources (CLF): CLF is downgraded to Market Perform from Outperform at FBR Capital.

C.R. Bard (BCR): The stock is downgraded to Hold from Buy at Jefferies.

Discount Retailers: Ross Stores (RST) and TJX Cos (TJX) are each downgraded to Neutral from Buy at Nomura.

Ferro (FOE): The small cap is cut to Neutral from Outperform at Credit Suisse.

Groupon (GRPN): Shares are downgraded to Equal Weight from Overweight at Evercore.

Intersil (ISIL): ISIL is now Hold from Buy at Needham.

Lincoln Educational Services (LINC): LINC is lowered to Underperform from Neutral at Bank of America-Merrill Lynch.

LogMeIn (LOGM): LOGM is downgraded to Hold from Buy at Needham.

Lorillard (LO): Shares are downgraded to Neutral from Buy at Citigroup.

MeadWestvaco (MWV): MWV is moved to Market Perform from Outperform at BMO Capital, which cites the strong dollar. The target is taken to $30 from $35.

Noble Corp (NE): NE is now Neutral from Buy at Goldman.

RadioShack (RSH): RSH is reduced to Underperform from Neutral at Wedbush.

Synacor (SYNC): Shares are downgraded to Perform at Oppenheimer from Outperform.

Varian Medical (VAR): VAR is downgraded to Hold from Buy at Cantor Fitzgerald.

Weatherford International (WFT): Société Générale slashes the oil services outfit to Sell from Hold.

WellPoint (WLP): WLP is downgraded to Market Perform from Outperform at BMO Capital.

Zynga (ZNGA): Shares, slumping before the bell after a poor Q2 report, are cut to Neutral from Overweight at JPMorgan, to Neutral from Buy at Citigroup, and to Neutral from Buy at Goldman.

(See also: Stock Upgrades: Sky's the Limit for Flooring Firm Lumber Liquidators and New Stock Coverage: Analyst Not Puckering Up to Avon.)
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