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Upgrades & Downgrades: Biting Into Apple


Maybe the experts know something we don't know.

Stocks died another little death, slipping for a fourth successive session on the day the munchkin coroner turned 94. Equities have started September with tears after being on a tear in August, though optimism is in the air this morning after Shanghai stocks rose the most in six months overnight.

On a down day investors could at least raise a glass to Brown-Forman (BF-B), the drinks maker lifting spirits by rising 5.86% after its first quarter profit beat the Street even as today's Journal reports champagne sales are toast. Vice President Biden, who uncannily resembles Buffett (Jimmy not Warren), delivers an upbeat economic assessment at the Brookings Institution today, saying the stimulus is more effective "than we had hoped," according to an advance excerpt.


Apple (AAPL): Apple is initiated at William Blair with an with an Outperform. In addition to its increasing iPhone and Mac market share, gaming devices represent an opportunity for the tech titan.

Teekay Tankers (TNK): Citigroup picks up coverage of Teekay Tankers, initiated with a Hold. Shares are expected to remain in dry dock because of increasing industry risk and conceivable covenant red flags.


Deutsche Telekom (DT): Credit Suisse upgrades Deutsche Telekom to Neutral from Underperform, saying German growth combined with cost cuts should mitigate issues at its T-Mobile US division.

Urban Outfitters (URBN): The retailer is raised at Robinson Humphrey (Buy from Neutral) with a $33 price target. The broker believes the apparel retailer has the strongest growth prospects among its peers.

Sepracor (SEPR): Sepracor shares, up 26%+ yesterday, are boosted by Piper Jaffray to Neutral from Underweight.


Deere (DE): JP Morgan cuts its rating (Underweight from Neutral) and price objective ($42 to $39) on Deere due to reduced demand for grain feed and a weak livestock sector.

Hovnanian Enterprises (HOV): Hovnanian, which slipped 7.3% yesterday after earnings, is downgraded from Underperform from Neutral at Credit Suisse in light of issues with its $1.8 billion debt load.
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