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Stock Downgrades: Martin Midstream Is Up a Creek

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

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MINYANVILLE ORIGINAL European stocks rose for a ninth straight week, their best run since 2006 even though Mario Draghi again disappointed markets after earlier promising to do "whatever it takes" to save the continent. His doctoral thesis at MIT on was on "economic theory and applications," but the ECB president appears to prefer the former to the latter.

Not that talk is cheap; a swearing hotline was just launched in Germany at 1.49 euros per minute. The country certainly has plenty to curse about after its unemployment rate rose for a fourth consecutive month. And "Dr. Doom" Nouriel Roubini, not content with dissing the US economy, has now rocked boats across the Atlantic. Perhaps the physician should instead concentrate on healing thyself.

No top-tier economic data is due today, but quarterly earnings announcements are expected out of AES Corp. (AES), BroadSoft (BSFT), Changyou.com (CYOU), Horsehead Holding (ZINC), McDermott International (MDR), Nippon Telegraph and Telephone (NTT), Plains All American (PAA),Tyson Foods (TSN), and Vornado Realty Trust (VNO).

Annaly Capital Management (NLY): NLY is now Underperform from Perform at FBR Capital from Perform due to its higher prepayment exposure relative to peers.

BE Aerospace (BEAV): Shares are downgraded to Neutral from Outperform at Cowen.

Brookfield Properties (BPO): BPO is now Neutral from Buy at Citi.

Chesapeake Energy (CHK): Shares are lower this morning after being moved to Market Perform from Outperform by BMO Capital, whose target price is $25.

CryoLife (CRY): CRY is cut to Hold from Buy by Benchmark Company.

Edwards Lifesciences (EW): RBC Capital reduces its EW recommendation to Outperform from Strong Buy.

Kratos Defense and Security (KTOS): Shares are cut to Hold from Buy at The Benchmark Company.

Martin Midstream Partners (MMLP): MMLP is moved to Market Perform from Outperform at Wells Fargo.

Progressive (PGR): PGR gets downgraded to Neutral from Outperform at Credit Suisse.

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

(See also: Stock Upgrades: Kraft Is the Big Cheese and New Stock Coverage: Apollo Residential Going to Pluto?)
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No positions in stocks mentioned.
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