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Upgrades & Downgrades: Coca-Cola's Extra Shot of Caffeine

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Maybe the experts know something we don't know.

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Exactly twelve months after its first close below 10,000 in almost four years, changed days indeed for the Dow. Amid seventieth birthday celebrations for The Wizard of Oz equities were all emerald cities and yellow brick roads yesterday, trading screens flashing green again as gold got to a new nominal high. The DJIA ended up over 130 points after an unexpected interest rate increase Down Under. See also Aussie Rate Hike Triggers Dollar Earthquake. Precious metal bullishness has bullion bugs scanning sea beds even as they enjoy the view atop a (non-inflation adjusted) summit.

Tiffany (TIF) jumped 4.62% after upbeat analyst comments while an eight time recipient of its wedding rings was in our hearts. In a week which has seen Bruce Willis move markets, Monsanto (MON) just made Hugh Grant less happy after reporting an 8.4% yearly revenue drop, and Alcoa's (AA) results after the close unofficially opens earnings season. For an earnings preview, see Why Earnings Look Opaque Beyond Third Quarter.

Initiations

Research In Motion (RIMM): The tech company is begun with a Buy at both Jesup & Lamont (which sees continued market share gains) and MKM Partners ($87 target on a strong product pipeline).

Miscellaneous: Wells Fargo starts coverage of several stocks, including Group 1 Automotive (GPI) (Outperform due to potential earnings upside), PetSmart (PETM) (also Outperform, on gross margin upside), Bed Bath & Beyond (BBBY) and Williams-Sonoma (WSM) (both Market Performs).

Upgrades

Media & Entertainment: Bank of America/Merrill Lynch upgrades Disney (DIS) (Neutral from Underperform; target price up $8 to $30), Viacom (VIA) (Neutral from Underperform, though the target is taken to $31 from $33) and News Corp (NWS) (Buy from Neutral).

Coca-Cola (KO): Dow component Coca-Cola gets an extra shot of caffeine with a Buy-from-Hold boost at Deutsche Bank, better bottler relations and favorable FX among factors cited.

Time Warner Cable (TWC): The cable provider gets upgraded to Outperform from Market Perform at Wells Fargo.

Cisco Systems (CSCO): William Blair raises its rating on Cisco Systems to Outperform from Market Perform on impressive recent channel checks.

Bank of America (BAC): The financial company is increased to Outperform from Market Perform at Wells Fargo.

Downgrades

St. Jude Medical (STJ): The company is cut at Canaccord Adams (Hold from Buy), among others, after yesterday's decline of over 12%.

Cephalon (CEPH): Robert Baird downgrades Cephalon (Neutral from Outperform, price objective now to $59 from $74) as the Nuvigil launch hasn't been as helpful as hoped.

Aeropostale (ARO): The retailer gets lowered to Underweight from Neutral at Piper Jaffray, with an objective of $43. See also Which Retailers Are Poised to Beat.

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No positions in stocks mentioned.
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