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Stock Downgrades: Grim Prognosis for Quest Diagnostics

It's a funny old world when Sysco ( SYY ), the stodgy food stock, and not Cisco ( CSCO ), the sexy tech stock, tops the entire S&P 500 (INDEXSP:.INX) on a day the index reached a new record. We have indeed come a long way from the stock market's Internet-inspired millennial madness, when Ricky Martin had investors everywhere "Livin' la Vida Loca." These days, Livin' Velveeta Loca is the way to go, with a broker boost sending its owner Kraft Foods ( KRFT ) up 1.77%. And let's not forget Livin' DaVita ( DVA ) Loca, after the kidney dialysis provider surged 6.71%. Dallas Fed head Richard Fisher attempted to cast a pall on investors by saying tapering should start "at the earliest opportunity" but equities still ended up flying high, thanks to American Airlines ( AAL ) from next door Fort Worth. It jumped 2.71% on an upbeat analyst initiation just in time for its trading debut. Unfortunately, there were no quick bucks to be made in fast food. McDonald's (MCD) moved 1.12% lower after revealing its sales were adversely impacted by competitive offerings from Wendy's (WEN). The latter has captured customers from its rival with an imaginatively revamped menu. Pretzel buns, bacon portabello melt on brioche, burgers topped with pot - that sort of thing.

In terms of economic events that may move US markets this morning, October wholesale trade inventories are released at 10:00 a.m. Eastern. Regarding specific stocks, expect earnings announcements out of Autozone (AZO), Burlington Stores (BURL), H&R Block (HRB), HD Supply Holdings (HDS), Leidos Holdings (LDOS), Smith & Wesson (SWHC), and Toll Brothers (TOL).

Edwards Lifesciences (EW): Shares are moved to Market Perform from Outperform with Wells Fargo.

Home Properties (HME): Morgan Stanley reduces Home Properties stock to Underweight from Equal Weight. Its new price objective on Home Properties is $59.

Quest Diagnostics (DGX): Quest Diagnostics gets lowered to Underperform from Neutral by Bank of America-Merrill Lynch. Its target price on Quest Diagnostics stock is now $55.

TeliaSonera (OTCMKTS:TLSNF): The stock is slashed to Sell from Hold at Deutsche Bank.

Tenneco (TEN): RBC Capital reduces its rating on Tenneco to Outperform from Top Pick. A relative lack of near-term upside is cited, and its objective on Tenneco stock is $66.

(See also: Stock Upgrades: You Can't Stem the Rising Tide at Celgene and New Stock Coverage: Papa John's Just Hit the Mother Lode )

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

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

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