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Upgrades & Downgrades: Long Road Ahead for Coach

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Maybe the experts know something we don't know.

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Slim gains on vacation volume still sufficed to send the Dow Jones Index up for a sixth successive session as it and the Standard & Poor's 500 closed at fresh highs for the year. While 1,100 represents a pesky resistance point for the S&P, bulletproof bullion has blown past $1,100 and gold futures are on a nine-session streak unseen since '82. See also Dollar Tops As Precious Metals Bottom. When the closing bell tolled for Toll Brothers (TOL), its shares were up 16.42%, good for its biggest gain in 17 years. Fifth Third (FITB) (+3.29%) also put its best foot forward but first was worst for 1st Constitution (FCCY) (-12.53%), First Franklin (FFHS) (-12.01%), and First United (FUNC) (-10.30%).

Dobbs' Ferry set sail absent its anchor, artwork incorporating 200 one dollar bills went for a wee bit more at auction and Eliot Spitzer opines on, ahem, ethics today at the alma mater of TS Eliot. At 8:30 AM Eastern initial unemployment claims fell to 502,000. Earnings include Alliant Techsystems (ATK), Anheuser-Busch InBev (BUD), EnCana (ECA), Kohl's (KSS), Nordstrom (JWN), Urban Outfitters (URBN), Telefónica (TEF), Vivendi, Walmart (WMT) (see also Six Reasons Walmart May Be the Best Retailer Ever), and Walt Disney (DIS).

Initiations

Buckle (BKE): Belt tightening is in order for The Buckle, started at Sell ($27 price target) by Goldman Sachs.

Coach (COH): The luxury retailer is initiated with a Hold at KeyBanc Capital. Shares are seen as fully valued, though China represents a good growth avenue.

Abbott Laboratories (ABT): Wedbush Morgan starts Abbott at Outperform ($62 target).

Medtronic (MDT): Medical device maker Medtronic is assumed at Neutral ($42 price objective) at Wedbush, the broker citing a mature revenue base.

St. Jude (STJ): The stock is also started at Neutral by Wedbush.

Merck (MRK): Morgan Stanley picks up Merck at Equal Weight.

Pharmaceutical Stocks: Barclays begins coverage of several European pharma stocks including AstraZeneca (AZN) (Equal-Weight),GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) (Equal-Weight), Novartis (NVS) (Underweight; $48), Novo Nordisk (NVO) (Overweight), and Sanofi-Aventis (SNY) (Overweight; $56 objective). Also read this morning's Big Pharma Scramble for a Piece of the Vaccine Pie.

Lear Corp. (LEA-WI): Barclays also starts Lear Corp at Overweight.

Upgrades

Aeropostale (ARO): A red letter day for Aeropostale, given a Neutral-from-Sell boost by Goldman, which also removes the stock from its Americas Sell list.

Vail Resorts (MTN): The stock is upgraded to Outperform from Neutral at Macquarie.

Elizabeth Arden (RDEN): The stock is increased to Buy from Neutral at SunTrust Robinson Humphrey with a price objective of $20. Some sales uptick is anticipated as retailers return to more normalized inventory levels.

MF Global (MF): MF Global raises Research in Motion (Neutral from Sell) on reduced downside risks.

Nasdaq OMX (NDAQ): The index is lifted to Positive from Neutral at Susquehanna Financial.

HSBC Holdings (HCS): The financial stock gets raised to Buy from Hold at Societe Generale.

CSX Corp (CSX): Barclays has been working on the railroads, raising CSX Corp to Equal Weight from Underweight.

Downgrades

Brocade (BRCD): The stock is lowered by Lazard, ThinkEquity (both Hold from Buy) and Piper Jaffray (Neutral from Overweight).

Nu Skin Enterprises (NUS): Nu Skin is downgraded to Hold from Buy by Stifel Nicolaus due to valuation, with a $26 target.

Burlington Northern (BNI): Barclays reduces Burlington Northern (Underweight from Equal Weight).
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.

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