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Upgrades & Downgrades: Morgan Stanley Gets Cut


Maybe the experts know something we don't know.

Stocks rose for a sixth week in seven, though the Dow fell Friday to end a winning streak of eight straight. Vacation volume meant trading was sleepy, except for mattress maker Select Comfort (SCSS) whose shares surged 14.1%. Meanwhile markets everywhere are echoing to the sound of broken China this morning. Our largest economy turned to a garage sale for salvation and Salvador Dalí showed up in a Texas thrift shop. Money talked in the Bronx as a resident of one of America's most beleaguered boroughs won Mega Millions while baseball's richest team swept its Yankee Stadium series against the White Sox.

"Sell in May and go away" proved particularly poor advice in a sizzling summer for stocks, although autumn on the NYSE is often ugly. See you in September, which is at least up against mercifully easy year-ago comps.


Univest Corp. (UVSP): Keefe, Bruyette starts coverage on Univest Corp. of Pennsylvania with a Market Perform and establishes a $20 price objective. Potential market share gains are offset by limited near-term visibility


Toronto-Dominion Bank (TD): RBC Capital raises its rating on crosstown company Toronto-Dominion Bank to Outperform from Sector Perform on retail revenue growth which continues to exceed industry peers.

Home Improvement: Keybanc is upgrading home-related retailers Ethan Allen Interiors (ETH), Pier 1 Imports (PIR) and Williams-Sonoma (WSM) to Hold from Underweight on an improving macro environment.

GameStop (GME): Stop-loss orders shouldn't be needed for GameStop today after the world's biggest video-game retailer was boosted by Goldman (Conviction Buy list from Buy). For more, see Why It May Not Be Game-Over for GameStop.

Cablevision (CVC): Citigroup has added Cablevision to its Top Picks Live list as the MSG spin-off should act as an upcoming catalyst.

Frontline (FRO): Finally, FBR Capital upgrades Frontline to Market Perform from Underperform following a solid second quarter. Its price target is taken up to $23 from $14.


Morgan Stanley (MS): Unlike our Canadian cousins, there's no mutual admiration for financials on Wall Street today as Morgan Stanley is downgraded to Neutral from Buy at Bank of America/Merrill Lynch on valuation.

Genzyme (GENZ): Biotech giant Genzyme gets cut by broker Robert Baird to Neutral from Outperform. The price target also comes down $6 to $58 amid increased risks of further delays at its Allston operation.

Liberty Property Trust (LRY): Janis Joplin may have been on the money in singing "freedom's just another word for nothing left to lose." Baird is lowering Liberty Property Trust to Neutral from Outperform on share price outperformance and a challenging operating backdrop. This as the Journal reports newspaper owner Freedom Communications is expected to announce bankruptcy.
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