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Upgrades & Downgrades: Research in Motion Starts in Slow Motion

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Maybe the experts know something we don't know.

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Stocks laughed all the way to the big banks as Goldman's upgrade of the sector saw a four-day slide end in emphatic fashion. Innerwear outfit Hanesbrands (HBI) (+12.05%) and Victoria's Secret owner Limited Brands (LTD) (7.75%) were each indicative of a market which had nothing to hide. Dow Chemical (DOW) jumped 5.25% after saying it sees ample opportunity in solar shingles, a performance put in the shade by DepoMed's (DEPO) 27.21% surge on successful trials for its shingles related pain product. Foodies fretted -- diet darling NutriSystem (NTRI) was worth the weight with a 23.26% after hours increase on the day Gourmet magazine called it quits -- but with both Yum Brands (YUM) and Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory (RMCF) reporting results today, gluttons everywhere are out to emphasize revenge is best served cold.

The Supreme Court reconvened after vacation and Bank of America (BAC) announced a full court press to bring Merrill's iconic bull back from hibernation, assuaging investors who had spotted its doppelgänger in the doghouse. And if Sunday night was all about Mad Men's Don Draper, Monday morning debuted dapper Don, with Imus in the Morning starting its 6:00AM simulcast on Fox Business channel.

Initiations

American International Group (AIG): UBS assumes coverage of American International Group with a Neutral.

Research In Motion (RIMM): The tech giant is initiated at Sanford Bernstein with an Underperform $60 price objective since it sees consensus estimates as too optimistic.

Tiffany (TIF): The retailer may shine after Citigroup picked it up with a with a Buy.

Marriott International (MAR): Collins Stewart makes room for Marriott with a Hold amid softness in timeshare and luxury residential markets.

Allergan (AGN): Beauty is only skin deep at Allergan, with the Botox maker frozen at Neutral by JP Morgan as its valuation already reflects its diverse growth opportunities.

Gap Inc. (GPS): The Gap gets initiated with a Buy and $25 target at Jesup & Lamont. See yesterday's article Stick With Winners in Retail.

Upgrades

General Mills (GIS): The food packager starts the day with an Overweight-from-Equal Weight increase at Morgan Stanley on increased conviction following a stellar first quarter. The target price is taken to $72 from $64. For more see General Mills: The Company of Champions.

Family Dollar (FDO): Discounter Family Dollar is upgraded to Outperform from Market Perform by BMO Capital Markets ahead of earnings.

Corning (GLW): The company gets a Buy-from-Neutral boost at UBS.

Select Comfort (SCSS): Sleep specialist Select Comfort can take comfort in an upgrade at Raymond James (Outperform from Market Perform).

AFLAC (AFL): UBS upgrades AFLAC to Neutral from Sell.

Downgrades

Energy Stocks: Chesapeake Energy (CHK) and Devon Energy (DVN) are each downgraded to Underperform from Neutral at Credit Suisse.

International Game Technology (IGT): The stock gets cut to Buy from Conviction Buy at Goldman Sachs.

Zimmer Holding (ZMH): UBS lowers Zimmer Holdings (Neutral from Buy).

PepsiCo (PEP): The beverage firm is removed from the US Focus List at Credit Suisse, which sees shares rangebound after recent strength.

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No positions in stocks mentioned.
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