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Upgrades & Downgrades: Advanced Micro Devices On a Roll


Maybe the experts know something we don't know.

The S&P 500 rose for a sixth successive session, its best run since June of '07, as it and the Dow each ended at highs for the year, although an afternoon about-face on vacation volume meant markets ended like lambs after starting like lions. Indeed headlines had a leonine lilt, as Wall Street mourned a Lionel in winter, Pride International (PDE) rose 1.33% in a strong energy sector and the Cubs declared bankruptcy. Stocks in the black included Black & Decker (BDK) (+7.64% after Barclays initiated at Overweight) and Blackstone Group (BX) is up 8.28% as it emerged on the birthday of an Eight is Enough actor that they may IPO up to eight companies.

It was a mixed bag by the beach as Pier 1 (PIR) jumped 13.38% after-hours following upbeat September same-store sales and Digital River (DRIV) ended up a creek, off 34.56% on the loss of its largest customer. Katie Holmes was mercifully missing from gossip columns but KB Homes (KBH) (-7.84%) attracted attention amid an SEC accounting investigation. Denver's boys of summer bid postseason baseball goodbye at an icy Coors field and all eyes are on Maine moderate Olympia Snowe as the Senate Finance Committee votes on health care today. Expect earnings announcements from CSX Corp (CSX), Domino's Pizza (DPZ), and Intel (INTC).


Citigroup (C): Deutsche Bank picks up Citigroup with a Buy ($5.50 price target) as it trades at an attractive 1.1 times trough tangible book value.

Genzyme (GENZ): The firm is initiated with a Neutral at Credit Suisse ($58 target) as the loss of Cerezyme revenue has impacted earnings.

Chico's FAS (CHS): The retailer is begun with a Buy at Jesup & Lamont, with the new management team seen positively.

Coach (COH): UBS starts Coach with a Neutral and $37 price objective.

PetroChina (PTR): The oil stock is resumed with a Hold at Deutsche Bank.

Bank Stocks: Bank of America/Merrill Lynch starts several banks, including US Bancorp (USB) (Buy), SunTrust (STI) and Fifth Third (FITB) (Neutrals on each).

Polo Ralph Lauren (RL): UBS initiates Polo Ralph Lauren with a Buy and $86 objective.

J.M. Smucker (SJM): The stock is initiated with a Neutral at JP Morgan.


Yahoo (YHOO): Yahoo's stock is upgraded to Buy from Hold at Benchmark, which increases its price objective from $4 to $20 on firming display trends.

Posco (PKX): The company is upgraded to Buy -- and added to the Conviction Buy list -- at Goldman.

DryShips (DRYS): DryShips gets a Buy from Hold boost at Lazard.

Advanced Micro Devices (ADM): The chipmaker on a tear lately, is increased to Market Perform from Underperform at JMP Securities.

Pacific Sunwear (PSUN): Blue skies for Pacific Sunwear after an Outperform from Market Perform upgrade at FBR Capital, which triples its target to $9 based on better control of inventory.

Lam Research (LRCX): Barclays upgrades Lam Research (Overweight from Equal-Weight, raising the target to $50 from $32).


Goldman Sachs (GS): Meredith Whitney Advisors cuts Goldman Sachs to Neutral from Buy. See also Two Ways: Goldman Sachs' Downgrade for trading ideas on this news.

Lincoln National (LNC): The stock is removed from the US Focus List at Credit Suisse, though it remains an Outperform, due to a more cautious outlook on variable annuity returns.

Joy Global (JOYG): Grief for Joy Global after KeyBanc cuts it to Hold from Buy on a less compelling risk/reward profile relative to peers.

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