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Upgrades & Downgrades: Nothing But Netflix


Maybe the experts know something we don't know.

Another final hour about-face allowed stocks to save face as equities rallied to end up after the Fed kept interest rates unchanged. Ford (F), which earlier this morning announced its first annual profit in four years, took advantage of Toyota's (TM) troubles to finish 3.22% higher. In tandem with an autoworker recently, the firm must feel it just accidentally won the lottery. Oracle (ORCL) saw a surge of resumes after announcing it would add 2,000 jobs; both the bored and billboard were encouraged to apply. Obama unveiled a jobs bill and Jobs' bill for the Apple (AAPL) iPad started at a surprisingly low $499. See also iPad Is Weak, But Apple Is Strong.

There was joyful Situation on the Jersey Shore as MTV parent Viacom (VIA) got an analyst upgrade and the Nets won for once. And a day after the only appointed official America takes seriously appeared on a comedy channel, a comedian appeared in the serious setting of Capitol Hill. Earnings season continues with Altria (ALTR), (AMZN), AstraZeneca (AZN), AT&T (T), Baxter (BAX), Bristol-Myers (BMY), Colgate-Palmolive (CL), Eli Lilly (LLY), JetBlue (JBLU), Microsoft (MSFT), 3M (MMM), Motorola (MOT), Nokia (NOK), Procter & Gamble (PG), Time Warner Cable (TWC), and Tyco (TYC) all announcing.


Kraft Foods (KFT): Bank of America/Merrill Lynch launches coverage on Kraft Foods with a Buy.

Unilever (UL): Consumer products powerhouse Unilever is reinstated at an Outperform by BNP Paribas.

Callaway Golf (ELY): The stock is begun with an Outperform and $10 price objective by Robert Baird. The broker believes that affluent consumers will spend more as wealth recovers and the international mix can grow as more emerging markets pursue golf.


Netflix (NFLX): The stock is surging before the bell on upgrades from Bank of America/Merrill (Buy from Underperform), FBR Capital (Outperform from Market Perform; $71 target), Jefferies (Buy from Hold), and Merriman (Buy from Neutral) following yesterday's strong set of results.

Caterpillar (CAT): Dow component Caterpillar is increased to Neutral from Sell at UBS. It's also upgraded to Outperform from Market Perform at Wells Fargo, which says the company's new guidance employs overly conservative incremental margin assumptions.

SunTrust Banks (STI): Goldman Sachs gives SunTrust Banks a Buy-from-Neutral boost and also adds it to the Conviction Buy list.

Zions Bancorp (ZION): The stock is also now Neutral (from Sell) at Goldman.

Anadarko Petroleum (APC): Barclays upgrades Anadarko Petroleum (Overweight from Equal-Weight with an increased objective of $82). For a related story, see The Bullish Case for Oil and How to Play It.

Illinois Tool Works (ITW): The stock is taken to Equal-Weight from Underweight ($56 price target), also by Barclays.

Rockwell Automation (ROK): Citigroup increases its Rockwell Automation recommendation to Hold from Sell.

Philips Electronics (PHG): BNP Paribas lifts Philips Electronics to Outperform from Underperform.

CME Group (CME): The stock is upped to Overweight from Neutral at JP Morgan, which takes its target up $15 to $360.

STMicroelectronics (STM): Piper Jaffray upgrades STMicroelectronics to Neutral from Underweight.

Apache (APA): The stock is increased to Outperform from Market Perform by Wells Fargo.

Nabors Industries (NBR): Nabors is now to Outperform from Neutral at Credit Suisse.

Boeing (BA): Boeing is upgraded to Buy from Neutral with a $76 target by Broadpoint, which has higher conviction in an air traffic recovery.


Verizon (VZ): The wireless stock is now Hold from Buy at Argus which says it sees more wireless competition for the firm.

Burger King (BKC): The fast-food chain is now Neutral from Buy at Janney Montgomery Scott.

Qualcomm (QCOM): The tech stock is cut to to Hold from Buy with a $42 target at Thinkequity, which cites its mixed Q1 2010 results and market share pressures from Ericcson (ERIC) and Broadcom (BRCM) among others. The stock gets cut by Morgan Keegan too, from Market Perform from Outperform after earnings.

Financial Stocks: In financials, Goldman pulls Piper Jaffray (PJC) and Capital One (COF) from its list of Conviction Buys.

Warner Chilcott (WCRX): The stock is now Hold from Buy ($26.50 target) at Jefferies following the company's receipt of a complete response letter from the FDA.

Gerdau (GGB): Deutsche Bank downgrades Gerdau to Hold from Buy and takes its target to $18 from $20 due to valuation.

Cinemark (CNK): Morgan Stanley cuts Cinemark (Underweight from Equal-Weight), though its price objective actually increases to $13 from $12.

Chesapeake Energy (CHK): Wells Fargo cuts Chesapeake Energy to Market Perform from Outperform.

Alliant Techsystems (ATK): The stock is taken to Neutral from Outperform at Credit Suisse.
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