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Stock Downgrades: You're Not Safe With Citigroup


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

Ordinarily I would ape the immortal advice of noted equity expert Bart Simpson and say "Don't have a cow, man." But, given that much of yesterday's US stock market mayhem originated in Argentina, whose Pampas provides the planet's best beef, you probably already knew that. Spain, home of the matador, also had an appropriate hand in killing the bull after announcing awful unemployment numbers. On a day the Dow (INDEXDJX:.DJI) dropped by triple-digits in tumbling to a four-week trough, one of its members did its best to buck the red ink. McDonald's (NYSE:MCD) - not generally known for its benevolence toward bulls - gained 0.46% after announcing earnings, with investors making a quick buck in the fast food firm. (Hey, rail against our obesity epidemic all you want, but the fact is that history's fastest human attests his success to eating 1,000 McNuggets.) Tomorrow is, of course, the first anniversary of Carl Icahn flinging a bull's by-product at Bill Ackman on national television. Might uncle Carl come to regret that, in light of Herbalife (NYSE:HLF) having just tumbled 10.35% on renewed pyramid scheme allegations? Amid all the angst in Buenos Aires, Brazilians can't afford to get too cocky at their nemesis neighbors after pride of São Paulo Gol Linhas Aéreas Inteligentes (NYSE:GOL) plunged 7.17% on a rating reduction. Although there is absolutely zero love lost between Argentina, home of Maradona, and Brazil, birthplace of Pelé, the Argentine pope will nonetheless be perturbed to see Rio's iconic statue of Christ the Redeemer having recently lost his thumb in a lightening strike. Elsewhere, investors quite literally gave a big thumbs-down to BlackBerry (NASDAQ:BBRY). The Canadian company, having surged earlier in the week, slumped 3.06% after being left utterly defenseless by the Pentagon.

There aren't any economic events that may move US stock markets today, but we get another battery of earnings announcements. Bristol-Myers Squibb (NYSE:BMY), Covidien (NYSE:COV), Honeywell (NYSE:HON), Kansas City Southern(NYSE:KSU), Kimberly-Clark (NYSE:KMB), Procter & Gamble (NYSE:PG), Stanley Black & Decker (NYSE:SWK), State Street (NYSE:STT), WW Grainger (NYSE:GWW), and Xerox (NYSE:XRX) are all expected to release results.

Arctic Cat (NASDAQ:ACAT): Raymond James reduces its rating to Perform from Outperform.

Chipotle Mexican Grill (NYSE:CMG): Who says all equity analysts think alike? Shares, which simultaneously score an upbeat Outperform initiation at Oppenheimer this morning, are now Neutral from Outperform with Wedbush.

Citigroup (NYSE:C): Was its recent six-alarm fire that put people's safe deposit boxes in jeopardy an ominous portent for Citigroup? Today the stock is taken to Neutral from Overweight at Atlantic Equities.

Coach (NYSE:COH): An awful week for Coach stock continues. Today it is bopped on the head with a handbag at Cantor Fitzgerald, which cuts the company to Hold from Buy. Its price objective, previously $61, gets slashed to $50.

Fairchild Semiconductor (NASDAQ:FCS): Bank of America-Merrill Lynch lowers to the tech name to Underperform from Neutral.

FireEye (NASDAQ:FEYE): FireEye, whose stock has indeed been on fire of late, is cut to Equal Weight from Overweight by Barclays.

International Game Technology (NYSE:IGT): Shares, slumping before the bell, are now Neutral from Buy at Sterne Agee. Its target price is also taken lower, to $18 from $21.50.

Porsche (OTCMKTS:POAHY.PK): Lindsay Lohan's car of choice may be set to crash after getting cut to Hold from Buy at Commerzbank.

Sanofi (NYSE:SNY): Citing concerns that include a relatively weak pipeline, Citi lowers the pharmaceutical firm to Neutral, sending it lower in London this morning.

SAP AG (NYSE:SAP) Staying in Europe, shares are now Hold from Buy at Berenberg.

Vestas Wind Systems (OTCMKTS:VWDRY): Gone with the, well, you know? The Danish turbine titan, a stellar recent stock, is taken to Underperform from Neutral at Credit Suisse.

Walter Energy (NYSE:WLT): Wells Fargo moves the coal company to Market Perform from Outperform this morning.

See also:

New Stock Coverage: You Too Can Be Slim With Chipotle Mexican Grill

Stock Upgrades: E Trade Babies Are Set for Life
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