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Upgrades & Downgrades: Sun Sets on First Solar


Maybe the experts know something we don't know.

Anniversaries abound. Friday saw the most somber, and a spooky statistic eight years after infamy. Last week also marked six months since most major markets bottomed; their subsequent gain of almost 50% has come in double-quick time, even as last night showed the race is not always to the Swift. And it's a year since brotherly love was lacking for Lehman, casing a pall on the market.

Pall Corp (PLL) reports fiscal fourth quarter earnings after the close, Obama delivers a high noon address to Wall Street and Jay Leno debuts in prime time. Stocks fell Friday but are still within striking distance of '09 highs, though futures are falling as indices tire of a trade tiff with China.


Alcoa (AA): HSBC initiates Alcoa with an Underweight rating and $11 price objective as its shares appear expensive on capital metrics.


Microsoft (MSFT): Microsoft is upgraded at Auriga (Buy from Hold; target up $6 to $30) on a belief downward estimate revisions are almost over.

Dreamworks (DWA): Dreamworks wakes up to an upgrade by William Blair (Outperform from Market Perform).

United Parcel Service (UPS): Credit Suisse boosts UPS to Neutral from Underperform.

Motorola (MOT): UBS makes a bullish call on Motorola, raising both rating (Buy from Neutral) and objective ($11.50 from $7.50). For more on this stock, see Will Cliq Phone Give Motorola a New High?

Thomson Reuters (TRI): Thomson Reuters can presumably hope to exceed Thompson Reuters estimates at its next earnings announcement after a 180 degree upgrade (Buy from Sell) by Deutsche Bank.

E*Trade (ETFC): The online broker is trading up after being boosted by Citigroup (Buy from Hold).


First Solar (FSLR): The sun sets on First Solar. Shares are lowered to Sell from Hold at Soleil, which takes its target to $96 from $170.

Fertilizer Stocks: Citigroup cuts fertilizer plays Potash (POT) and Mosaic (MOS), both to Hold from Buy on a weaker than anticipated fall application season allied to Chinese contract price risks.

Blue Nile (NILE): This stock could also be underwater due to Citi, which downgrades the online jeweler to Hold from Buy.

Campbell Soup (CPB): The company gets a Neutral-from-Buy rating reduction at Bank of America/Merrill Lynch, though the target is increased to $34 from $32. The broker believes upside is limited at these levels.

Boston Scientific (BSX): The stock is downgraded at UBS ($12 target).
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