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Stock Downgrades: Nike Just Not Doing It


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

MINYANVILLE ORIGINAL Travelers (TRV) advanced 0.88% to a fresh historic high and travelers' diarrhea sent Santarus (SNTS) up 4.75%. Firearms firm Smith & Wesson (SWHC) gained another 3.50% as its products continue to find ever more novel uses.

Apple Inc. (AAPL) rose 1.39% as it unveiled an iPhone 5 whose Siri voice recognition now comes in many more languages. She still has a famously hard time hearing the impenetrable brogues of Bravehearts but money talks, even when no one is listening. Ask kilted clansman Andy Murray. Fresh from pocketing $1.9 million in the US Open, he saw sponsor Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) continue a recent run by rising 4.37%.

The blue-bloods of Burberry (BURBY) tend to speak in perfectly enunciated English yet, a day after it tumbled 21%, the firm founded in 1856 will be especially annoyed to see Abercrombie & Fitch (ANF) jump 5.42%. Bowler-hatted Brits apparently don't much care for the American upstart, founded in 1892.

Today at 12:30 p.m. Eastern, the Federal Open Market Committee is expected to announce its eagerly awaited decision on interest rates. The Fed's economic forecasts follow at 2:00 p.m., and Ben Bernanke holds his press conference at 2:15 p.m. In earnings action, Analogic (ALOG), Pier 1 Imports (PIR), and SED International (SED) are all due to report results.

AT&T (T): The blue chip is taken to Hold from Buy at Hudson Square Research.

BAE Systems (BAESY): Amid merger speculation, the British aerospace-and-defense company downgraded to Sell from Hold at Société Générale.

Corcept Therapeutics (CORT): Piper Jaffray cuts the small cap to Neutral from Overweight.

Darden Restaurants (DRI): Robert W. Baird downgrades the Red Lobster and Olive Garden owner to Neutral from Outperform with a price objective of $58. The company still faces near-term headwinds.

European Aeronautic Defence & Space (EADSY): The Airbus parent is cut to Hold from Buy at Deutsche Bank, which points to integration risk from the company's potential merger with BAE Systems (BA.L).

Lukoil (LUKOY): JPMorgan lowers the Russian energy company to Neutral from Overweight.

Nestlé (NSRGY): Shares are now Neutral from Buy at HSBC Securities.

Nike (NKE): The company is cut to Neutral from Buy at Citigroup amid the potential for deceleration in futures orders. The target price is now $101.

Northrop Grumman (NOC): Expressing concerns over its outsized exposure to a declining U.S. defense budget, UBS slashes the aerospace outfit to Sell from Neutral. The target is also trimmed by $1, to $63.

Semiconductor Stocks: Citigroup cuts Dow (^DJI) component Intel (INTC) (target taken to $25.75 from $32) to Neutral from Buy, along with Advanced Micro Devices (AMD) and Marvell (MRVL). Concerns include a lack of catalysts after its channel checks in Asia suggested the negative PC environment is likely to persist over the intermediate term.

T. Rowe Price (TROW): TROW is taken to Neutral from Outperform at Credit Suisse.

Tyco International (TYC): Barclays takes TYC to Equal Weight from Overweight.

United Parcel Service (UPS): Shares are downgraded to Equal Weight from Overweight by Barclays.

(See also: Stock Upgrades: Jive Software Set to Jump and New Stock Coverage: Coach Stuck in Neutral.)
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