American Express ( AXP) downgraded at FBR to an Underperform rating as consumer credit deterioration is in early stage. American Express downgraded at Goldman Sachs to Neutral from Buy following preannouncement of negative Q4 earnings. Weaker credit trends in US lending portfolio, higher lending and charge card reserves, and slowing growth in worldwide Cardmember spending all contributed to shortfall. Price target cut to $55 from $81. Brown & Brown ( BRO) downgraded at Wachovia from Outperform to Market Perform. Estimates also cut because of margins pressures. Company also has exposure to weakening Florida market. Bear Stearns ( BSC) upgraded at Merrill from Neutral to Buy. $103 price target. Valuation call, as the stock is trading at an 8% discount to book value. Estimates still cut, to reflect a lower 10% ROE. Dyncorp International ( DCP) downgraded at CIBC from Outperform to Sector Perform. Valuation call, based on a $27 price target. DRS, BEAV and TGI offer better values at current levels. Dell ( DELL) upgraded at JP Morgan from Neutral to Overweight. Earnings expectations have become more reasonable, but the overall investor sentiment now appears too bearish. Stock is trading at just 14 times earnings, or a 21% discount to the group. D&B ( DNB) upgraded at JP Morgan from Neutral to Overweight. Company is a defensive name, with few cyclical levers and should continue to generate steady free cash flow.