Stock Downgrades: Crocs Takes a Walk on the Wild Side

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When even Miley Cyrus keeps her clothes on in an appearance at Cipriani Wall Street , there was never any danger of investors losing their shirts to naked short selling last week. Instead, the S&P 500 Index (INDEXSP:.INX) rose to a new record. Among stocks on the move, Apple Inc. ( AAPL ) jumped 3.4% because, well, when you are trying to be an innovative tech company, having a 77-year-old write a letter urging share buybacks is exactly want you need to hear. Elsewhere American Express ( AXP ), headquartered in New York's World Financial Center, finished Friday at the highest level in its history, a touching tribute to Paul Reichmann, who died the same day and put the edifice on the map . Tom Brady has a hand injury but the Ugg boot-endorser saw Deckers Outdoor ( DECK ) surge some 17.61%. Regardless of what is on one's foot, taking A Random Walk Down Wall Street will never be such fun again, now that we can't do it on the wild side. Rest in peace, Lou Reed .

This morning in economic data, September pending home sales are due at 10:00 a.m. Eastern. On the corporate front, just under half of the S&P 500 Index (INDEXSP:.INX) have now released quarterly results. Today's announcements are expected to include América Móvil ( AMX ), Apple ( AAPL ), Biogen Idec ( BIIB ), Herbalife (HLF), Linn Energy (LINE), Loews Corporation (L), Masco (MAS), Merck (MRK), Riverbed Technology (RVBD), Seagate Technology (STX), and TNT Express (OTCMKTS:TNTEY).

ARM Holdings (ARMH): The Benchmark Company slashes this chip stock, a key Apple Inc. ( AAPL ) supplier, to Hold from Buy. Its price target is also taken lower, by $4 to $50.

Audience (ADNC): Shares are now Hold from Buy at Benchmark amid the broker's less optimistic outlook on the overall semiconductor sector.

Baidu Inc. (BIDU): The Chinese Internet outfit is now Hold from Buy at BNP Paribas.

Boeing (BA): Buckingham Research reduces the key Dow (INDEXDJX:.DJI) component, which hit the highest level in its history last week, to Neutral from Buy.

Choice Hotels (CHH): Robert W. Baird reduces its rating to Underperform from Neutral, citing both comparatively slow growth and a relatively rich stock valuation. (Note that shares also scored an upgrade today.)

Crocs, Inc. (CROC): The maker of colorful plastic clogs gets cut to Neutral from Overweight at Piper Jaffray, whose concerns include increased discounting and "choppy" recent trends in the US.

Exelon (EXC): Goldman Sachs slashes the nuclear power play to Sell from Neutral.

Lear Corporation (LEA): LEA is lowered to Hold from Buy at Deutsche Bank.

Lloyds Banking Group (LYG): Investec takes the British financial firm to Hold from Buy.

Owens Corning (OC): The building materials name is now Neutral from Buy at Bank of America-Merrill Lynch.

Public Service Enterprise Group (PEG): Shares are reduced to Sell from Neutral at Goldman.

SandRidge Permian Trust (PER): RBC Capital Markets moves the stock to Underperform from Sector Perform. Its price objective, previously $17, is now $14.

Shoe Carnival (SCVL): The footwear firm, previously Buy, is now Neutral at Sterne Agee.

Transocean (RIG): Goldman lowers the oil services outfit to Sell from Neutral.

Trimble Navigation (TRMB): TRMB is taken to Hold from Buy at Needham.

(See also: Stock Upgrades: AstraZeneca Has It Covered From A to Z and New Stock Coverage: Fate Therapeutics Leaves Nothing to Chance )




The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of The NASDAQ OMX Group, Inc.



This article appears in: Investing , Stocks

Referenced Stocks: AAPL , AMX , AXP , BIIB , DECK

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