Stock Downgrades: Run From JPMorgan Chase


Wall Street's expensively compensated army of "experts," eh? What would we ever do without them. The same self-styled gurus who assured us tapering was a slam dunk in September found themselves flabbergasted in December when the announcement ultimately arrived. As a result, both the Dow Average (INDEXDJX:.DJI) and S&P 500 Index (INDEXSP:.INX) each ended at historic highs. US stock markets soared as the Fed, which has an American eagle emblazoned upon its DC headquarters , presented investors with a black swan event that arrived on the wings of a dove . Just so long as they stay away from ducks, for those quackpots recently turned Washington into a laughing stock . Impressive economic reports also boosted bourses, including the strongest monthly showing in housing starts since January 1990. That was indeed a banner month for capitalism, when Romania became the first Warsaw Pact member to ban the Communist party and the Dow hit a record (of 2,810.15; how terribly quaint). As Ben Bernanke engineered a Hollywood ending to his tenure as Fed head, Bollywood equity Eros International ( EROS ) advanced 2.16% on an upbeat analyst assessment , and cinema stock AMC Entertainment ( AMC ) soared 5.00% on its trading debut. Alas, not all shares fared as well. Marks & Spencer (OTCMKTS:MAKSY), a darling of Margaret Thatcher, dropped 1.28% on pessimistic comments . The Iron Lady, famously described as "the only man in her cabinet," would find it amusing that the iconic English retailer now sells gender-neutral toys .

In terms of economic events that may move US markets today, December's Philadelphia Fed Index, along with last month's leading indicators and existing home sales, all arrive at 10:00 a.m. Eastern. Regarding specific stocks, expect earnings announcements out of Accenture ( ACN ), ConAgra ( CAG ), Darden Restaurants ( DRI ), KB Home (KBH), Nike (NKE), Red Hat (RHT), Tibco Software (TIBX), and Worthington Industries (WOR).

AbbVie (ABBV): Morgan Stanley moves the stock to Equal Weight from Overweight.

Canon (CAJ): Japanese electronics giant Canon sees its stock slashed to Neutral from Buy at Citigroup.

Ford Motor (F): Ford Motor stock is cut to Hold from Buy at boutique brokerage Craig-Hallum. Shares of Ford Motor fell 6.29% yesterday.

JPMorgan Chase (JPM): Stock in JPMorgan Chase, a key Dow component, is now Neutral from Buy at SunTrust.

Puma Biotechnology (PBYI): Stifel cuts Puma Biotechnology stock to Hold from Buy. This is essentially a stretched valuation call, as neratinib sales estimates remain relatively robust.

Solta Medical (SLTM): Shares get lowered to Perform from Outperform at Leerink Swann.

(See also: New Stock Coverage: Listen Up, Chaps -- Ralph Lauren Is Dressed for Success and Stock Upgrades: Callaway Golf Fit for a President )

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: ACN , AMC , CAG , DRI , EROS



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