On a day the Fed was torn, stocks staggered to a split decision. The Dow (^DJI) snapped a four-session winning streak while S&P 500 (^GSPC) issues edged up after FOMC meeting minutes revealed a central bank divided almost straight down the middle. With indecision in the air, Hewlett-Packard ( HPQ ) - which knows flip-flops - rose 1.81% to again best all blue chips after an analyst flip-flopped his opinion on the suddenly resurgent tech titan from "sell" to "buy."
Television audience analyzer Nielsen ( NLSN ) tumbled 2.04%, with investors concerned about how viewers of a new channel dedicated to dogs will register their approval. Hedge funds finally got the green light to advertise , although given their utterly punk performance , an embarrassed silence may be the better option. And New York's Scholastic ( SCHL ), which surged 9.59% last week, jumped another 1.97%. Alas elsewhere on the island, educators could clearly use a brush up on the basics .
Arkansas Best Corporation (ABFS): Citigroup cuts the trucking titan to Neutral from Buy.
ARMOUR Residential REIT, Inc. (ARR): The real estate investment trust is reduced to Underperform from Neutral by Bank of America-Merrill Lynch.
Avago Technologies Ltd (AVGO): Shares get taken to Hold from Buy at Jefferies.
Cliffs Natural Resources Inc (CLF): The country's largest iron ore producer, having already slid some 63.79% in the past year, is downgraded to Underperform form Perform at CIBC World Markets.
DeVry Inc. (DV): Stifel slashes the education equity to Hold from Buy.
Family Dollar Stores, Inc. (FDO): Barclays downgrades the discount retailer to Equal Weight from Overweight. Valuation is a concern after yesterday's 7.11% surge bested all S&P 500 (^GSPC) issues and sent the stock to a seven-month high.
Health Management Associates Inc (HMA): The stock is cut to Neutral from Outperform at Credit Suisse.
Jive Software Inc (JIVE): Shares are now Neutral from Buy at UBS.
Lender Processing Services, Inc. (LPS): Oppenheimer lowers LPS to Perform from Outperform at Oppenheimer.
On Assignment, Inc. (ASGN): The staffing stock is slashed to Hold from Buy at Deutsche Bank.
ON Semiconductor Corp (ONNN): Jefferies reduces its rating to Hold from Buy.
Sprint Nextel Corporation (S): Citigroup takes the telecom stock, upgraded elsewhere this morning, to Neutral from Buy.
The New York Times Company (NYT): NYT is now Equal Weight from Overweight at Barclays. Shares, up 67.83% in the past year having hit a fresh 52-week peak yesterday, are now seen as somewhat stretched.
Transocean LTD (RIG): RIG is reduced to Market Perform from Outperform by BMO Capital.
Union Pacific Corporation (UNP): Raymond James reduces the railroad, down 1.12% yesterday, to Market Perform from Outperform.
Wynn Resorts, Limited (WYNN): Morgan Stanley moves the casino stock to Underweight from Equal-Weight.