Stock Downgrades: Tears at Comedy Central Owner Viacom

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From Lehman Brothers to the Jonas Brothers in five years is a funny kind of progress, but Nasdaq (INDEXNASDAQ:.IXIC) yesterday learned the hard way just how much can happen in 6 Minutes . Equities brushed off yet another trading outage at the exchange and opted instead to spend 7 Minutes in Heaven, from where PennyMac Financial ( PFSI ) - up 3.55% - and JC Penney ( JCP ) - a 6.13% gainer - each descended in the ascendancy. The Nasdaq glitch specifically started with the symbol PC, adding insult to injury for the personal computer industry on a day an unloved Microsoft ( MSFT ) dropped a Dow (INDEXDJX:.DJI)-worst 2.15%. The auto industry, also left for dead not long ago, came back to life in a big way with General Motors ( GM ) gaining 5.01%. Its headquarters are in Motown's marvelously misnamed Renaissance Center but that unfortunate Detroit paramedic who recently suffered a heart attack while performing CPR still seems a more apt metaphor for the town's ailing economy.


This morning, consensus calls for a falloff in factory orders for July and August's Institute for Supply Management non-manufacturing index, each out at 10:00 a.m. Eastern. On the quarterly earnings front, Conn 's ( CONN ), Finisar (FNSR), Quiksilver (ZQK), Smith & Wesson (SWHC), and VeriFone (PAY) are all expected to release results.

ABB Limited (ABB) The European industrial equipment stock is slashed to Equal-Weight from Overweight by Barclays.

First Majestic Silver (AG): BMO Capital cuts the commodity company to Market Perform from Outperform.

Lockheed Martin (LMT): The aerospace and defense stock gets lowered to Sector Perform from Outperform at RBC Capital Markets.

Newmont Mining (NEM): NEM is now Equal-Weight from Overweight at Barclays.

OpenTable Inc (OPEN): Morgan Stanley moves the Internet restaurant reservation outfit to Underweight from Equal-Weight.

ProAssurance (PRA): The property and casualty insurance company is cut to Neutral from Buy at Suntrust Robinson Humphrey.

Viacom, Inc. (VIAB): B. Riley reduces its rating on the owner of Comedy Central, MTV, and Nickelodeon to Neutral from Buy. Valuation issues are cited, with the stock up 62.28% in the past year and now trading within 6.1% of the brokerage's $85 price objective.

Zillow Inc (Z): The online real estate name is now Underweight from Equal-Weight at Morgan Stanley.

(See also: New Stock Coverage: Starbucks Easily Worth Eighty Bucks and Stock Upgrades: Groupon Is Your Deal of the Day .)



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: CONN , FNSR , GM , JCP , MSFT

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