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Stock Downgrades: Dark Days Not Over for Knight


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

MINYANVILLE ORIGINAL On an otherwise up day, power producers AES Corp. (AES) and Korea Electric Power (KEP) lost a respective 4.41% and 3.34%. But fear not for the hedge fund heavies in Greenwich, as they were sadly unable to buy either. And the Mars rover landed after flying 350 million miles, looking for life. NASA would have saved so much money had it chatted with Mr. Chavez, who assures us capitalism long ago killed off all activity on the Red Planet.

A quiet week in economic data continues with June consumer credit at 3:00 p.m. Eastern the only data release of note. Today's quarterly earnings are expected to include Arcos Dorados (ARCO), Blount International (BLT), Cablevision (CVC), Fossil (FOSL), Intercontinental Hotels (IHG), Molson Coors (TAP), Office Depot (ODP), (PCLN), Sirius XM Radio (SIRI), and Walt Disney (DIS).

Agrium (AGU): The chemicals company gets cut to Neutral from Outperform at Macquarie.

American Tower (AMT): Citing its full valuation, Credit Suisse cuts the stock to Neutral from Outperform with a $75 target.

Canadian Banks: Bank of Montreal (BMO) and Royal Bank of Canada (RY) are each downgraded to Underweight from Equal Weight by Barclays, which cuts Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce (CM) to Equal Weight from Overweight.

Ceragon (CRNT): Shares are downgraded to Equal Weight from Overweight at Barclays.

Children's Place (PLCE): The retailer is reduced to Market Perform from Outperform by BMO Capital, which also trims its target by $9 to $55. The brokerage cites survey feedback that suggests a relative lack of merchandise offerings.

East West Banc (EWBC): Shares are downgraded to Equal-Weight from Overweight at Morgan Stanley.

Federal Realty Investment Trust (FRT): FRT is taken to Underperform from Sector Perform at RBC Capital.

Gilead Sciences (GILD): GILD gets lowered to Neutral from Buy at Lazard.

Health Net (HNT): The stock is moved to Underperform from Market Perform by BMO Capital.

Home Properties (HME): HME is downgraded to Neutral from Buy at Compass Point, whose target is $71.

Knight Capital Group (KCG): The market maker, much in the news of late, gets moved to Underperform from Market Perform by Keefe Bruyette.

Lan Airlines (LFL): Bank of America-Merrill Lynch lowers the Latin American air carrier to Underperform from Neutral.

Leap Wireless (LEAP): The stock, plunging before the bell, is now Underperform from Neutral at Robert W. Baird.

Red Robin Gourmet Burgers (RRGB): Troubled by both broad industry trends and a lack of specific near-term catalysts, Sterne Agee slashes shares to Neutral from Buy.

Standard Chartered (SCBFF): The beleaguered British bank is now Neutral from Buy at Nomura.

Technology Stocks: Atmel Corp (ATML) gets downgraded to Neutral from Buy at Goldman, which slashes Sanmina-SCI Corp (SANM) to Sell from Neutral.

WMS Industries (WMS): Shares are downgraded to Underweight from Neutral at JPMorgan and to Reduce from Neutral at Nomura.

(See also: Stock Upgrades: Coach Can Recapture Winning Formula and New Stock Coverage: Campbell Soup Not Hot Stock in August.)
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