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Stock Downgrades: Deckers Outdoor Can't Get Up Off the Floor

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

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MINYANVILLE ORIGINAL Yesterday's analyst action saw Hillshire Brands (HSH), maker of Ball Park franks, receive its first research coverage - a little too soon for those of us still digesting the Nathan's (NATH) hot dog contest. Blackstone's (BX) Steve Schwarzman, whose 60th birthday was far more opulent than Uncle Sam's 236th, got a post-Independence Day present.

Europe, which really does have more important things to worry about, decided at a meeting in Zurich to introduce goal-line technology for soccer. This will hopefully consign to history the sort of controversy that almost entangled England and Germany in another war in 1966. Alas the EU's economic troubles long ago crossed the line into tragedy.

Ambow Education (AMBO): AMBO is downgraded to Hold from Buy at Jefferies.

AstraZeneca (AZN): The European drug giant gets downgraded to Hold from Buy at Jefferies.

Avalon Rare Metals (AVL): Shares are taken to Hold from Buy at Dahlman Rose, which expects rare earth pricing to be range bound over the next 12-18 months.

Avon Products (AVP): The company is now Neutral from Buy at Bank of America-Merrill Lynch.

Banco Bilbao (BBVA): HSBC Securities cuts the Spanish financial firm to Neutral from Overweight.

Barclays PLC (BCS): Sanford Bernstein takes the troubled British bank to Market Perform from Outperform amid increased regulatory scrutiny and management changes. Its price objective, at $11.31, remains intact.

Caterpillar (CAT): The key Dow (^DJI) component is trading lower on light volume this morning after being pulled from the Priority Stock List with Wells Fargo.

CoStar Group (CSGP): Shares are reduced to Market Perform from Outperform at Raymond James.

Deckers Outdoor (DECK): The maker of Ugg boots is now Neutral from Buy at Longbow, which has concerns regarding European demand.

Glimcher Realty (GRT): GRT gets lowered to Neutral from Buy by Bank of America-Merrill Lynch.

Informatica (INFA): Bank of America-Merrill Lynch lowers the stock by an unusual 180 degrees, to Underperform from Buy. Meanwhile shares are taken to Hold from Buy at both Jefferies and Deutsche Bank.

LRR Energy LP (LRE): LRE is lowered to Neutral from Buy at Citigroup.

Man Group (MNGPF): Société Générale slashes the firm to Hold from Buy.

Oil & Gas: Bank of America-Merrill moves both Enbridge Energy (EEP) and Enbridge Management (EEQ) to Neutral from Buy.

Perrigo (PRGO): Morgan Stanley moves the stock to Equal Weight from Overweight.

Preferred Bank (PFBC): The Los Angeles company gets cut to Hold from Buy at Sandler O'Neill.

Seagate Technology (STX):STX is taken to Neutral from Outperform at Robert W. Baird, which trims its target by $6 to $27, citing a much more uncertain macroeconomic environment.

Theravance (THRX): The firm is downgraded to Hold from Buy at Brean Murray.

Weight Watchers (WTW): Shares are now Neutral from Buy at Bank of America-Merrill.

Weyerhaeuser (WY): The company is cut to Neutral from Buy at DA Davidson.

(See also: New Stock Coverage: Limited Upside for Limited Brands and Stock Upgrades: Sally Beauty Looks Like a Million Bucks.)
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No positions in stocks mentioned.
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