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Upgrades & Downgrades: American Eagle Ready to Soar?


Maybe the experts know something we don't know.

Dear Abby made sure the market avoided a Dear John day, with additional assistance from John Deere (DE). The earth moved for the farm equipment maker as it ended up 5.02% for its best single session percentage gain in six months after reporting robust results. Housing construction also posted its most impressive performance in half a year, which along with bullish comments by Bank of America helped New Jersey's biggest homebuilder Hovnanian Enterprises (HOV) head 5.56% higher. (Though the Garden State's ego will take a fresh blow once Snooki & Co move to Miami.)

Other equities fared less well. Even as the Nasdaq gained for a fourth straight session Apple (AAPL) slipped 0.42% as investors apparently joined urban hipsters in abandoning iPods for Easter. And adult entertainment operator Rick's Cabaret (RICK) cratered 7.29%, evidently on anticipation a celebrity client will change his ways upon coming out of hibernation tomorrow. Today's economic announcements include January leading indicators and the Philadelphia Fed index, each at 10:00AM Eastern. Expect earnings out of Apache (APA), Barrick Gold (ABX), Build-A-Bear (BBW), California Pizza Kitchen (CPKI), CBS Corp (CBS), Daimler (DAI), Dell (DELL), Hormel Foods (HRL), Intuit (INTU), and K-Swiss (KSWS).


Tech Stocks: UBS starts Citrix Systems (CTXS) (Neutral) and VMware (VMW) (Buy.)

Cameron International (CAM): In energy, Cameron International is initiated with a Buy at Bank of America/Merrill Lynch.


American Eagle Outfitters (AEO): The retailer gets an Outperform-from-Market Perform upgrade with Wells Fargo. For more on this sector, see Why Abercrombie's Future Doesn't Look Pretty.

Deere (DE): The farming equipment maker is raised to Overweight from Neutral at JP Morgan, which takes its target price to $65 from $52 after yesterday's impressive earnings.

Commodity Stocks: Bank of America/Merrill Lynch lifts commodity stocks Southern Copper (PCU) ($38 target maintained) and Nucor (NUE) ($50), each now Neutral from Underperform.

Rogers Communications (RCI): Bank of America/Merrill also moves Rogers Communications to Buy from Neutral.

Tata Motors (TTM): BNP Paribas takes Tata Motors up all the way to Buy from Reduce.

Winn-Dixie Stores (WINN): Jefferies upgrades Winn-Dixie Stores to Hold from Underperform and increases its price objective to $11 from $7 after its modest EBITDA upside.

Telecom Stocks: Sanford Bernstein gives Outperform-from-Market perform boosts to both Deutsche Telekom (DT) and Telecom Italia (TI).

Group 1 Automotive (GPI): The stock is moved to Buy from Hold at Soleil, which takes its target up $1 to $36.

NetApp (NTAP): Brigantine bolsters NetApp to Buy from Hold on a belief it offers a compelling story within the storage virtualization industry. The price objective also increases $8 to $40.

RadioShack (RSH): The stock is raised to Outperform from Market Perform at Raymond James, which sets a $24 price target.

Talbots (TLB): The retailer gets taken to Outperform from Neutral with a $14 target price at Wedbush Morgan, which cites an improved in-store environment and a healthier balance sheet.


NetApp (NTAP): By contrast, NetApp is cut to Perform from Outperform by BMO Capital.

America Movil (AMX): HSBC downgrades America Movil, now Neutral from Overweight.

AngloGold Ashanti (AU): The stock is lowered to Neutral from Buy over at UBS. For more on gold, see That May Not Have Been the Final Bottom for Precious Metals.

Thoratec (THOR): The stock is reduced to Sell from Hold at Lazard.

Host Hotels & Resorts (HST): Collins Stewart cuts Host Hotels to Hold from Buy and trims its target to $13 from $14 after earnings.

Protective Life (PL): The stock is now Neutral from Buy at Sterne Agee due to higher funding costs, among other factors.
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