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Stock Downgrades: Bad Day for Big Banks


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

MINYANVILLE ORIGINAL São Paulo air carrier GOL Linhas Aéreas Inteligentes (GOL), up 21.00% last week, gained a further 3.15%. Scant consolation for fútbol-mad Brazilians who preposterously find the five-time World Cup winners ranked below Greece in the latest standings. An enterprising woman posted her resume on a billboard owned by Clear Channel Outdoor Holdings (CCO). Clever, but she would have been better simply investing in the stock, which surged some 16.85% after-hours.

Garbage stock Waste Management (WM) dropped 3.68% in the S&P 500's (^GSPC) poorest performance and laundromat operator Mac-Gray Corp (TUC) was equally messy in falling 5.32%. And investing in coal company Alpha Natural Resources (ANR) continues to be as painful as walking over its principal product. Shares, down another 3.17%, have now lost about three-quarters of their value in a year.

Today in economics, August Leading Indicators and the Philadelphia Fed Index for September are each out at 10:00 a.m. Eastern. In earnings action, CarMax (KMX), Cintas (CTAS), ConAgra (CAG), Jefferies Group (JEF), Marcus Corp. (MCS), Oracle (ORCL), Rite Aid (RAD), Scholastic (SCHL), and Tibco Software (TIBX) are all due to report results.

AllianceBernstein (AB): Bank of America-Merrill Lynch lowers the stock to Underperform from Neutral.

Amcol (ACO): Shares are cut to Neutral from Buy at Sterne Agee.

Banks: Citigroup (NYSE:C), Goldman Sachs (NYSE:GS), and Morgan Stanley (NYSE:MS) ($19 price objective) are all now Neutral from Buy at UBS, which takes a more cautious stance on the sector following recent strength.

Clean Harbors (CLH): CLH gets cut to Neutral from Outperform with a new lower target of $58 at Robert W. Baird.

Coach (COH): COH is now Neutral from Outperform at Credit Suisse due to valuation issues and increasing competitive pressures.

GT Advanced Technologies (GTAT): The name is now Sector Perform from Outperform at Pacific Crest.

Halliburton (HAL): Crédit Agricole cuts the company to Underperform from Outperform.

Iconix Brand (ICON): ICON is taken to Hold from Buy at The Benchmark Company.

Marriott International (MAR): MAR is moved to Neutral from Overweight at JPMorgan.

Norfolk Southern (NSC): The railroad is reduced to Market Perform from Outperform with Wells Fargo amid earnings growth issues.

NV Energy (NVE): NVE is now Neutral from Buy at Goldman.

Questcor Pharmaceuticals (QCOR): Shares are downgraded to Hold from Buy at Jefferies.

St. Jude Medical (STJ): The stock is now Neutral from Buy at Mizuho, whose target is $45. Market share erosion is among its concerns.

US Steel (X): Shares are lower before the bell on a downgrade to Neutral from Buy at Nomura, whose concerns include excess capacity in China.

(See also: Stock Upgrades: Impressive Liquid Assets at American and New Stock Coverage: CoreLogic (NYSE:CLGX) Makes Cents.)
No positions in stocks mentioned.
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