Sorry!! The article you are trying to read is not available now.
Thank you very much;
you're only a step away from
downloading your reports.

Upgrades & Downgrades: Blue Nile Up Creek Without Paddle


Wall Street ratings agencies set the tone for today's stock market.

Puss in Boots may top the box office in America but over in the country shaped like a - well, you know - someone's nine lives finally ran out. It's a funny kind of Econ 101 when the imminent resignation of Italy's richest businessman sends the Dow up 101.79, but the end of a 20-year political career boosted bourses for a second straight session even if volume remained razor thin. Silvio Berlusconi paid the price for fiddling while Rome burned but it was a fine time to play the piano as Europe's Titanic convulsions continued. Steinway Musical Instruments (LVB), its very ticker symbol a tribute to Ludwig van Beethoven, jumped 5.33% on earnings, which should particularly please proud paisano Anthony Dominick Benedetto of Steinway Street in Astoria, where ever more Greeks are returning with heavy hearts and empty pockets. As a prime minister's parliamentary career now sleeps with the fishes - and do not let it ever be said Silvio doesn't like to doze - he can take some small comfort in the 27.47% surge in McCormick & Schmick's Seafood Restaurants (MSSR). Elsewhere American Public Education (APEI), operator of military academies, shot up 5.78% and - for those who prefer to hear the Call of Duty from their couch - Activision Blizzard (ATVI) advanced 1.38% in hitting a three-year high.

US job openings also increased to levels not seen since 2008, although one book-shilling ex president evidently found it necessary to go Back To Work. (Barnes & Noble (BKS) ended up 5.62%; can't he just take the money and run?) Wall Street pay is set to plunge, which won't elicit too many tears from the record 49.1 million Americans now living in poverty. And Macy's (M), the department store given up for dead not long ago, touched a fresh 52-week peak yesterday, ahead of earnings this morning which beat consensus forecasts. A miracle on 34th Street? Maybe, but nothing like the one that occurred on the same storied block some forty years earlier. Rest in Peace, Smokin' Joe. There's again an absence of market-moving economic data this morning but today's corporate earnings are expected to include Ashland Inc (ASH), Carlsberg, Cisco Systems (CSCO), Computer Sciences (CSC), Dean Foods (DF), Deutsche Post, General Motors (GM), Green Mountain Coffee Roasters (GMCR), Ralph Lauren (RL), and Wendy's (WEN).


Aegerion Pharmaceuticals (AEGR): Shares are initiated with a Buy at Deutsche Bank.

Big Lots: (BIG): Keybanc begins BIG at Hold.

NetSuite (N): N is a new Outperform with Wells Fargo.


Amylin Pharmaceuticals (AMLN): Shares, which skidded yesterday, are this morning upgraded to Outperform from Market Perform at BMO Capital.

H&R Block (HRB): The tax titan is taken to Outperform from Perform at Oppenheimer, which sets it a $19 target price. The firm notes that, historically, investor interest in such stocks picks up at year-end, and HRB has a compelling opportunity to garner storefront share from independent outfits.

Lloyds Banking (LYG): WestLB lifts LYG to Buy from Add.

Rite Aid (RAD): Shares are escaping this morning's overall market bloodbath, trading higher before the open after being upgraded to Outperform from Neutral at Credit Suisse.

Republic Airways (RJET): Dahlman Rose raises its rating to Buy from Hold and establishes a price objective of $8 after third quarter earnings came in ahead of consensus estimates.

McKesson (MCK): The stock is added to the Conviction Buy list at Goldman Sachs.

SolarWinds (SWI): Shares are boosted to Buy from Hold with a $36 target at Needham, which cites a management team that has held operating margins together through acquisitions, new product introduction, and international expansion. See also Egypt Steps Up Plans for Wind Power Farms.

Hartford Financial (HIG): Morgan Stanley hoists HIG to Overweight from Equal Weight.


Abercrombie & Fitch (ANF): The cult clothing company is now Neutral from Buy at Suntrust. For related content, see Will These 5 Holiday Shopping Trends Save Retail Investors From a Blue Christmas?

AmerisourceBergen (ABC): ABC is removed from Goldman's list of Conviction Buys.

Autodesk (ADSK): ADSK is now Neutral from Buy at Bank of America-Merrill Lynch.

Blue Nile (NILE): Shares in the online engagement ring king, already poised to open sharply lower, are downgraded to Sell from Hold at Deutsche Bank.

Dolby Labs (DLB): DLB gets downgraded to Neutral from Overweight at Piper Jaffray.

Dreamworks Animation (DWA): DWA is moved to Sell from Neutral at Janney Montgomery Scott

Walgreens (WAG): The pharmacy chain is lowered to Neutral from Outperform at Credit Suisse.

Central European Distribution Corp (CEDC): Sorry, Snooki. Shares in the New Jersey-based distributor of Polish vodka are down sharply after being cut to Hold from Buy at Deutsche Bank.

Scotts Miracle-Gro (SMG): SMG is now Neutral from Buy at Suntrust.

NVIDIA (NVDA): The stock is moved to Market Perform from Outperform at JMP Securities.

Alaska Communications (ALSK): Shares are downgraded by both RBC Capital (Underperform from Sector Perform) and Bank of America-Merrill Lynch (Underperform from Neutral).

Financial stocks: Principal Financial (PFG) is moved to Underweight from Equal Weight at Morgan Stanley, which reduces its Prudential (PRU) recommendation to Equal Weight from Overweight.

Charles Schwab (SCHW): The cut price broker gets cut to Hold from Buy at ISI Group.

Follow the markets all day every day with a FREE 14 day trial to Buzz & Banter. Over 30 professional traders share their ideas in real-time. Learn more.

< Previous
  • 1
Next >
No positions in stocks mentioned.
The information on this website solely reflects the analysis of or opinion about the performance of securities and financial markets by the writers whose articles appear on the site. The views expressed by the writers are not necessarily the views of Minyanville Media, Inc. or members of its management. Nothing contained on the website is intended to constitute a recommendation or advice addressed to an individual investor or category of investors to purchase, sell or hold any security, or to take any action with respect to the prospective movement of the securities markets or to solicit the purchase or sale of any security. Any investment decisions must be made by the reader either individually or in consultation with his or her investment professional. Minyanville writers and staff may trade or hold positions in securities that are discussed in articles appearing on the website. Writers of articles are required to disclose whether they have a position in any stock or fund discussed in an article, but are not permitted to disclose the size or direction of the position. Nothing on this website is intended to solicit business of any kind for a writer's business or fund. Minyanville management and staff as well as contributing writers will not respond to emails or other communications requesting investment advice.

Copyright 2011 Minyanville Media, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
Featured Videos