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Upgrades & Downgrades: No Hollywood Ending for IMAX


Maybe the experts know something we don't know.

The S&P 500 and Dow posted their best performance in three weeks while the Nasdaq closed at its highest level since September of '08 and stocks staged an impressive rally after upgrades for Alcoa (AA) and Intel (INTC). (Whatever else one may think of them, don't doubt that analyst action moves markets.) See also Two Ways to Play: Intel Reveals Smaller, More Efficient Chips. Nickel, aluminum and copper led a strong commodity sector and although gold had an off day, Gold Bond medicated powder maker Chattem (CHTT) surged 33.10% on an acquisition by Sanofi-Aventis (SNY). Macy's (M) shares rose 3.83%, remaining red hot a day after a flagship store fire but Guinness owner Diageo (DEO), down on the day, didn't fare as well following an inferno of its own.

Starbucks (SBUX) was the second worst stock in the S&P, its 2.28% slide risking riots from angry prison inmates suffering from caffeine withdrawal. And on an otherwise up day for drug stocks, Swiss biopharmaceutical company Actelion fell 3.23% after unveiling mixed Phase III data on a product designed to treat insomnia. Perhaps forcing patients to watch Senators debate healthcare in the dead of night would have been more effective. In 8:30 AM Eastern economics, the final figure for third-quarter GDP was surprisingly revised down to 2.2% and November existing home sales, out at 10:00 AM, are expected to increase. Cintas (CTAS), Red Hat (RHT), and Micron Technology (MU) are among companies announcing earnings. See Five Reasons Micron Is Held Up Only by Hope.


AOL (AOL): Barclays begins AOL at an Equal-Weight and establishes a $30 target price. An "attractive" valuation is offset by "structural challenges."

Williams-Sonoma (WSM): The stock is initiated at Equal Weight by Morgan Stanley.

Bed Bath & Beyond (BBBY): Morgan Stanley jumps into Bed Bath & Beyond, assigning it an Overweight rating.

StanCorp Financial (SFG): The stock is initiated with a Market Perform at Wells Fargo.

Unum Group (UNM): Wells Fargo also assumes coverage on Unum Group with an Outperform.

Liz Claiborne (LIZ): KeyBanc Capital kicks off coverage of Liz Claiborne with Hold as the risk profile remains exceedingly high.

Fortune Brands (FO): Jefferies begins Fortune Brands at Hold (price objective of $45) due to its exposure to more discretionary housing-related businesses.

Jarden (JAH): Jefferies initiates Jarden (Buy; $40 target) as it has leading market share positions in several niche categories.

MetroPCS (PCS): Piper Jaffray picks up MetroPCS at a Neutral and sets an $8 target price.

Computer Sciences (CSC): Oppenheimer initiates Computer Sciences (Outperform; $72 target), citing continued margin improvement and a healthy free cash flow.

Suntech Power (STP): Robert Baird starts Suntech Power with a Neutral and $16 price target.


Manpower (MAN): Bank of America/Merrill Lynch lifts Manpower to Buy from Neutral.

IAMGOLD (IAG): UBS upgrades IAMGOLD (Buy from Neutral), though the target is taken down a dollar to $21.50.

TD AMERITRADE (AMTD): The online broker gets a valuation based Outperform-from-Market Perform upgrade at Keefe Bruyette, with the target now $22.50 (up from $21.00).

Ensco (ESV): The stock is increased to Outperform from Neutral at Macquarie with an objective of $50.

Atlas Pipeline (APL): Citigroup raises its Atlas Pipeline rating to Hold from Sell.


Imax Corp (IMAX): The stock is down ahead of the open after being downgraded to Hold from Buy at Morgan Joseph.

XTO Energy (XTO): The energy stock gets cut to Hold at KeyBanc Capital after the announcement of its merger with Exxon (XOM).

Warnaco (WRC): JP Morgan lowers Warnaco to Neutral from Overweight, though the target is increased a dollar to $45.
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