This morning, Lehman Brothers made the almost unprecedented move of placing sell, or in this case, underperform ratings on stocks. The firm lowered gold mining stocks Battle Mountain (BMG) , Homestake (HM) , Newmont (NEM) - Get Report and Kinross (KGC) - Get Report to underperform from neutral.

In its morning research note, Lehman said it has lowered its gold price estimate to $270 from $280 an ounce. The firm expects that companies involved in mining gold to continue to underperform the market.

Goldman Sachs

analysts downgraded the retail sector late Tuesday. Among the stocks downgraded to either market outperformer or market performer from buy were

Costco

(COST) - Get Report

,

Kohl's

(KSS) - Get Report

,

Target

(TGT) - Get Report

,

Tiffany

(TIF) - Get Report

,

Federated

(FD)

,

Abercrombie & Fitch

(ANF) - Get Report

,

Wal-Mart

(WMT) - Get Report

,

May

(MAY)

,

Ross

(ROST) - Get Report

,

TJX

(TJX) - Get Report

,

Tuesday

(TUES) - Get Report

and

Neiman Marcus

(NMGA)

.

The sector has been under pressure all year due to fears of higher interest rates and increasingly difficult same-store sales comparisons.

Upgrades

Bestfoods

(BFO) - Get Report

: UP to buy from market perform at

Donaldson Lufkin & Jenrette

; price target: 75.

Sanmina

(SANM) - Get Report

: UP to top pick from buy at DLJ.

Transocean Sedco

(RIG) - Get Report

: UP to buy from hold at

UBS Warburg

; price target: 70.

Downgrade

General Motors

(GM) - Get Report

: DOWN to outperform from buy at Lehman.

Initiations

Infospace

(INSP) - Get Report

: NEW buy at CSFB.

Luminex

(LMNX) - Get Report

: NEW outperform at Lehman; price target: 26.