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Upgrades & Downgrades: Biotech Revving Up


Maybe the experts know something we don't know.

Stocks slid, as the impressive "alphabet equities" of August including AIG (AIG) (-20.5%) and CIT (CIT) (-15.5%) discovered September sings a different song. See also Why AIG Will Fall Back to Earth. Walmart (WMT) was almost alone in bringing relief to Wall Street, its 0.2% gain good for the Dow's only increase though the seventieth anniversary of the outbreak of World War II provided proper perspective; it's only money. Happier anniversary's today include the ATM and Internet, both 40.

Revised second quarter productivity, July factory orders, Fed minutes for August and weekly oil inventories feature in a busy data day. Earnings announcements span the gamut from Joy (Global) (JOYG) to Greif (Brothers) (GEF). Other brothers catching grief are the Gallaghers of Oasis, each apparently singing a different tune.


Biotech Sector: Bank of America/Merrill Lynch rolls out biotech research, reinstating coverage of Gilead Sciences (GILD) (Buy; $54 price objective), Amgen (AMGN) (Neutral; $63), Celgene (CELG) (Neutral; $58) and Biogen Idec (BIIB) (Underperform; $45).

Fossil (FOSL): Jefferies believes the time is right to start covering Fossil and initiates the distributor of watches and fashion accessories with a Buy. It sees the shares potentially reaching $32 due to a well diversified business model and increased retail penetration both at home and abroad.


BJ Services (BJS): Credit Suisse raises its rating on BJ Services (Neutral from Underperform) with an accompanying $7 objective increase to $17. The broker believes BJ's acquisition by Baker Hughes (BHI) makes strategic sense for shareholders sees the deal closing by year-end.

Las Vegas Sands (LVS): The casino company is upped at Argus to Buy from Hold ($18 price target). Signs of Macau stability and growth potential in Singapore are cited. For more, see today's Ticker Shock.

Siemens (SI): UBS upgrades German engineering giant Siemens to Neutral from Sell on increasing demand increases and reduced costs.


Homebuilders: Homebuilding stocks Ryland (RYL) (Neutral from Buy) and DR Horton (DHI) (Sell from Neutral) are subject to valuation based cuts at UBS, though estimates and price objectives are intact.

Forest Labs (FRX): Also downgraded on valuation is Forest Labs, Needham lowering the shares to Hold from Buy.

General Mills (GIS): Cereal maker General Mills starts the day on an off note after a Hold-to-Buy downgrade at Soleil with a $62 price target.

Rockwell Automation (ROK): Citigroup lowers Rockwell Automation to Sell from Hold, based on current price.
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