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Upgrades & Downgrades: Boeing Loses Altitude


Maybe the experts know something we don't know.

Stocks posted their third straight spilt decision, though the Dow Industrials and S&P 500 Index did hit fresh 15 month highs. Oil snapped a 10-day winning streak, its best run since the irrationally exuberant year of 1996. InfoSpace (INSP), poster child for both Nasdaq's millennial madness and subsequent tech wreck and a stock which got an equity analyst into an awful lot of trouble ten years ago, turned back the clock to rise 21.74%. The past few days have seen a photographer who recently lost her shirt make money on an erstwhile Emperor exposed as having no clothes. Thus it was a relief to see apparel outfit Polo Ralph Lauren (RL) head 1.93% higher to its best level since September of '07.

Las Vegas Sands (LVS), which started the week by surging over 11% on an upgrade, is still singing Viva Las Vegas on this Elvis' 75th birthday after yesterday's 2.21% gain. It's a dull day for corporate earnings but we got the month's key economic data at 8:30 AM Eastern. December's nonfarm payroll report showed a steeper than expected loss of 85,000 jobs as the unemployment rate, derived from separate survey, stayed steady at 10.0%.


Edwards Lifesciences (EW): Rodman & Renshaw resumes Edwards Lifesciences with an Underperform and $57 price target. There are still too many unknowns in the transcatheter valves arena.

Hain Celestial (HAIN): Soleil Securities starts Hain Celestial at a Hold and $17 target price as the stock faces numerous sales growth headwinds in fiscal 2010.

REITS: Kimco Realty (KIM) and Simon Properties (SPG) are among the REITs initiated at Outperforms by Cowen. See also Wrong Time for REITs?

Tupperware (TUP): Goldman Sachs sees Tupperware as a less than fantastic plastic, picking it up at a Neutral.


Applied Materials (AMAT): The semiconductor company is upgraded to Buy from Hold at Needham, with a price objective of $18. It's seen as better positioned than other pure play semiconductor equipment names to deliver consistent growth throughout the year.

Veolia Environnement (VE): The stock is showing good gains ahead of the open after being added to the Conviction Buy list at Goldman Sachs.

Sunoco Logistics (SXL): Goldman also increases Sunoco Logistics (Neutral from Sell).

JC Penney (JCP): The retailer is boosted to Neutral from Sell, also at Goldman Sachs.

Calpine (CPN): gets upgraded to Outperform from Market Perform at BMO Capital Markets with a target of $16.

Halliburton (HAL): The defense stock is upped to Buy from Neutral, and also added to the Conviction Buy list, at Goldman.

Morgan Stanley (MS): Macquarie upgrades Morgan Stanley (Outperform from Neutral).

Chipotle Mexican Grill (CMG): Morgan Stanley itself gives Chipotle a 180 degree (Overweight from Underweight) upgrade.


Boeing (BA): The stock is now Neutral from Hold at Macquarie due to valuation.

Coca-Cola (KO): The beverage company is lowered to Neutral from Overweight at JP Morgan, which sees developed market weakness.

Colgate-Palmolive (CL): Another big consumer products ratings cut at JP Morgan sees Colgate-Palmolive moved to Neutral from Overweight with an objective of $90. Other stocks in the space are seen as having higher potential upside.

Brinker International (EAT): The restaurant stock gets a Neutral-from-Buy cut at Sterne Agee due to near term sales concerns.

MetroPCS (PCS): The stock is moved to Sell from Hold with a $5.50 target at Soleil Securities on an increased competitive landscape.

Annaly Capital Management (NLY): The stock is now Underweight from Neutral at Piper Jaffray.

Macy's (M): The retailer is moved to Neutral from Buy at Goldman. For more, see Why Retail Has Chosen to Celebrate.

Abercrombie & Fitch (ANF): Teen dream Abercrombie & Fitch gets removed from Goldman's Conviction Buy list.

Retail: Also in retail, Barclays downgrades both Aeropostale (ARO) (Underweight from Equal-weight) and TJX Cos (TJX) (Equal-weight from Overweight).

Seagate Technology (STX): The stock is downgraded to Neutral from Buy at Goldman.

Kindred Healthcare (KND): Kindred is cut to Underperform from Market Perform at Wells Fargo.

Medical Device Stocks: Human Genome Sciences (HGSI), Zimmer Holdings (ZMH), and Mylan Labs (MYL) are all now Neutral from Buy) at Goldman.

Ericsson (ERIC): Bank of America/Merrill Lynch lowers Ericsson to Neutral from Buy.

Wendy's/Arby's (WEN): Morgan Stanley downgrades Wendy's/Arby's, now Equal-weight from Overweight.
No positions in stocks mentioned.
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