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Upgrades & Downgrades: Mixed Bag for Airlines


Maybe the experts know something we don't know.

The S&P 500, down with the Dow, saw its six-session streak snapped, but markets shouldn't have a microchip on their shoulders this morning after impressive earnings and an upbeat outlook out from Intel (INTC). Indeed it was a good day for equities honoring smarty pants as Interactive Intelligence (ININ) soared 19.61%, but the same-name game brought shame to Johnson Controls (JCI) (-2.40%) and Johnson & Johnson (JNJ) (-2.43%). Meredith cut Goldman (GS) (-1.54%) after concluding it couldn't cut mustard, though the firm may find solace in Mayo. See also Two Ways: Goldman Sachs' Downgrade. CIT Group (CIT) was at a low ebb, losing 11.54% along with its CEO Jeff Peek, and had company in the TRI Valley (-13.04%).

Yesterday's Journal revealed retailers are goosing up gift-cards and today's Times reports on the gunshot wedding gift which keeps on giving. AIG's (AIG) adoption of a kitchen sink approach to retention bonuses is sure to attract the attention of pay tsar Kenneth Feinberg, especially since our tsars of cars, clean energy, and cyber security all called it quits early. JP Morgan (JPM) is up pre-open after releasing another robust set of results, a happy habit emulated by Abbott (ABT) this morning. For more see Should Investors Expect Surprises in Financial Sector? September retail sales at 8:30 AM Eastern highlight the day's economic data.


Networking Stocks: Wells Fargo starts coverage of select networking stocks including Cisco Systems (CSCO) and F5 Networks (FFIV) (Outperforms), plus Juniper Networks (JNPR) and Riverbed Technology (RVBD) (Market Performs).

Deutsche Telekom (DT): ING Group dials up a Buy on Deutsche Telekom.

Sonoco Products (SON): Deutsche Bank starts Sonoco with a Hold ($31 price objective) as the shares are already anticipating a modest cyclical recovery.

Lululemon Athletica (LULU): Capstone goes to the yoga mat for Lululemon Athletica, assuming it with a Buy and $28 target since competition is scarce and inventory sparse. See also Lululemon Finds Lucrative Niche in Yoga.

Nike (NKE): Capstone also initiates Nike (Hold).


Airlines: Barclays Capital raises ratings on AMR Corp. (AMR) (Overweight from Equal-Weight) and Continental Airlines (CAL) (Equal-Weight from underweight).

Computer Sciences (CSC): The stock gets upgraded to Neutral from Sell at Goldman Sachs, its price objective increasing $8 to $54, on an increased likelihood of its acquisition.

Sanofi-Aventis (SNY): UBS lifts Sanofi-Aventis (Neutral from Sell).

Harley Davidson (HOG): Wells Fargo is high on the HOG, hiking Harley-Davidson to Outperform from Market Perform.

Miscellaneous: Longbow upgrades Amphenol (APH), Molex (MOLX), and Tyco Electronics (TEL), all to Buy from Neutral.


More Airlines: In addition to its dual airline upgrade above, Barclays lowers AirTran (AAI) (Underweight from Equal-Weight) and and JetBlue (JBLU) (Equal-weight from Overweight).

Valero (VLO): The stock is the victim of a 180 degree (Sell from Buy) downgrade at Soleil Securities, its price target also taken to $17 from $25 due to weak refining margins.

Digital River (DRIV): Argus takes Digital River to Hold from Buy after Symantec (SYMC) chose not to renew its contract.

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