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Upgrades & Downgrades: Chevron Out of Gas?


Maybe the experts know something we don't know.


Stocks showed only modest gains in tepid trading on the 12-month anniversary of the 12-year bear market low, proving paying it forward is more lucrative than looking back. Since that bottom the S&P 500 has lifted itself up almost 70%, so it was fitting yesterday's Wall Street Journal reported bottom lifts are also up sharply. Bottom's up was the order of the day for Boston Beer (SAM), which finished 1.15% higher at a fresh 52-week high. (Alas the inspiration for Sam Malone long ago served his last Sam Adams, another unemployment statistic.)

Whitewater was always Bill Clinton's favored beverage, but after declaring war on soft drinks he must also have enjoyed the 30.12% plunge in Jones Soda (JSDA) -- presumably no relation to Paula. Today in economics, January wholesale inventories are released at 10:00AM Eastern and on the corporate front earnings are expected out of American Eagle Outfitters (AEO), Children's Place (PLCE), FuelCell Energy (FCEL), Gymboree (GYMB), Hot Topic (HOTT), Jo-Ann Stores (JAS), Men's Wearhouse (MW), Speedway Motorsports (TRK), and Vail Resorts (MTN).


Netflix (NFLX): The stock is initiated with a Buy at Canaccord Adams. See also Netflix Gets a Thumbs-Down Rating.

Financial Services: Cantor Fitzgerald now follows financials Doral Financial (DRL) and Popular Inc (BPOP), each at Hold.

Cabela's (CAB): KeyBanc Capital kicks off coverage of Cabela's with a Hold, citing challenging comparisons.

Trimble Navigation (TRMB): The stock finds its way onto Morgan Keegan's radar at Market Perform, the broker believing it is well positioned in core vertical markets.

Evergreen Solar (ESLR): The solar stock is initiated at a Hold with Wunderlich, which says the shares already reflect a change in the company's business model.

CR Bard (BCR): The stock is begun with a Hold at Morgan Joseph.

Avantair (AAIR): Jesup & Lamont assumes Avantair at a Buy and sets a price objective of $3.25.


Goodrich (GR): The stock gets added to the Conviction Buy list at Goldman Sachs.

Global Payments (GPN): Susquehanna gives Global Payments a Positive-from-Neutral lift.

Edison International (EIX): Saying shares are undervalued, Jefferies raises its Edison International rating to Buy from Hold and increases their price objective by $2.50 to $37.50.

Analog Devices (ADI): Sanford Bernstein shifts Analog Devices to Outperform from Market Perform.

Lockheed Martin (LMT): Macquarie moves Lockheed Martin to Neutral from Underperform.

InterMune (ITMN): The stock is upgraded to Buy from Hold at ThinkEquity after a nine-to-three vote in favor of the approval of Esbriet by an FDA advisory committee. See also InterMune Still Has Lingering Questions.

Sonic Corp (SONC): The stock is boosted to Buy from Hold with a $12 target price at KeyBanc Capital.

Bucyrus International (BUCY): The stock is up sharply ahead of the open after getting added to the Conviction Buy list at Goldman Sachs.

Citrix Systems (CTXS): MKM Partners moves Citrix Systems to Neutral from Sell ($47 target) after its analysis showed that the current XenDesktop promotion is having continued success with customers.


Chevron (CVX): Bank of America/Merrill downgrades Dow component Chevron, now Neutral from Buy with a $90 target after the oil company's meeting with Wall Street analysts yesterday offered "little new" news.

ING Group (ING): Keefe Bruyette cuts Dutch banking and insurance giant ING Group to Market Perform from Outperform, saying "catalysts for further outperformance may be thin" in 2010 with restructuring still a work in progress.

J. Crew (JCG): Citigroup lowers J. Crew (Hold from Buy).

Annaly Capital Management (NLY): The stock is now Neutral from Overweight at JP Morgan.

Lazard (LAZ): The stock is removed from the Gonviction Buy list at Goldman.

Textron (TXT): Textron is also taken off Goldman's list of Conviction Buys.

Vale S.A. (VALE): UBS reduces its recommendation on Vale (Neutral from Buy).

Celestica (CLS): Scotia Capital downgrades Celestica to Sector Perform from Outperform.

RCN Corp (RCNI): The stock gets a Market Perform-from-Outperform reduction at Raymond James after its announced acquisition.

Barclays (BCS): The stock is downgraded to Market Perform from Outperform by FBR Capital. See also Two Ways to Play: Barclays on the Prowl.

Collective Brands (PSS): The stock gets a Hold-from-Buy cut at Soleil Securities, which sets a $26 target after meeting with management.

Comerica (CMA): Comerica is downgraded for a second successive morning, this time to Hold-from-Buy at Soleil following yesterday's $800 million common stock offering.

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