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Stock Downgrades: Sotheby's Shares Going, Going, Gone?

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

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MINYANVILLE ORIGINAL The singularly misnamed Best Buy (BBY), sliding further this morning, was the S&P 500's (^GSPC) single worst stock yesterday. It tumbled 10.41%, enduring a bad case of the Mondays after unveiling a new CEO who once managed TGI Friday's.

The playing fields of Britain proved perilous, with Sotheby's (BID) sliding 3.47% after its chairman was shot on a Scottish grouse moor, while Manchester United (MANU) lost 2.68% to a post-IPO low as it suffered defeat in its first game of the English soccer season. Adding insult to injury, while investors are losing their shirts, its players are sporting misspelled shirts. And also in England, weather forecasters apologized for being wrong. Now if only economists - long lamented as a profession created to make weather forecasters look good - could show similar humility.

There's actually no top-tier economic data due today, but earnings announcements are expected out of American Woodmark (AMWD), Barnes & Noble (BKS), Best Buy (BBY), Dell Inc. (DELL), DSW Inc. (DSW), Intuit (INTU), Lay-Z-Boy (LZB), Medtronic (MDT), Wet Seal (WTSLA), and Williams-Sonoma (WSM).

ABB Limited (ABB): The stock is downgraded to Sell from Hold at Deutsche Bank due to increased competition from Chinese competitors. Its target is taken to $15 from $17.50.

Auxilium Pharmaceuticals (AUXL): Morgan Stanley moves the stock to Underweight from Equal-Weight, sending it lower ahead of the opening bell.

Banco Santander (SAN): The Spanish financial firm is now Neutral from Overweight at JPMorgan.

Ciber Inc. (CBR): Shares are now Neutral from Buy at Roth Capital amid economic headwinds.

Diamond Offshore (DO): DO gets downgraded to Neutral from Buy at Guggenheim.

Edison International (EIX): Argus cuts the name to Hold from Buy.

EnCana (ECA): Société Générale slashes the stock to Sell from Hold.

Fossil (FOSL): Shares get downgraded to Hold from Buy at ISI Group.

Granite Construction (GVA): GVA is now Neutral from Buy at DA Davidson.

Liberty Media (LMCA): Evercore lowers LMCA to Equal Weight from Overweight.

Regeneron Pharmaceuticals (REGN): Shares are removed from the US 1 list of favored equities at Bank of America-Merrill Lynch.

Repsol (REPYY): The stock is now Neutral from Buy at UBS.

Sotheby's (BID): The auction house is downgraded to Underperform from Perform at Williams Capital Group.

Suntech Power (STP): STP is taken to Sell from Hold at Argus amid issues with its German bonds.

TAL International (TAL): Shares are now Neutral from Buy at Nomura, whose target is $40.

Textainer Group (TGH): The stock is cut to Neutral from Buy at Nomura.

Triangle Capital (TCAP): TCAP is taken to Neutral from Buy at Sterne Agee based amid valuation concerns.

Warner Chilcott (WCRX): Morgan Stanley moves the stock to Underweight from Equal-Weight.

Worthington Industries (WOR): Shares are cut to Hold from Buy at KeyBanc.

(See also: New Stock Coverage: Corning Set to Shatter Glass Ceiling and Stock Upgrades: Urban Outfitters Heading Uptown.)
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No positions in stocks mentioned.
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