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Upgrades & Downgrades: Oil Stocks Get the Nod


Maybe the experts know something we don't know.


Stocks rose a for fourth successive session, though gains were pared in the afternoon after the Fed threw the Beige Book at equities. A Stone has fueled concerns the market is about to hit a brick Wall, as Oliver is in town shooting Money Never Sleeps. Since Gordon Gekko first appeared in the fall of 1987, omens aren't good. See also Wall Street II: A Sneak Peek.

Wynn Resorts (WYNN) won big, gaining 6.3% on an upgrade at Oppenheimer. Education company K12 Inc (LRN) plunged 13% on the day millions of Americans went back to school, and there were no high fives at Palm (PALM) following its 8.7% drop. The nation's attention was riveted on a new judge. (No, not that one.) Weekly jobless claims are out today and Lululemon (LULU) hopes investors will go to the yoga mat for its shares after second quarter earnings exceeded estimates.


Oil Stocks: Oppenheimer initiates several oil service stocks including Diamond Offshore (DO) (Outperform; $120 objective), Pride International (PDE) (Outperform; $38), ENSCO (ESV), Noble (NE), and Transocean (RIG) (all Performs). Two Ways this morning discusses the increasing demand for crude.


Yahoo (YHOO): Yahoo gets an upgrade at Bank of America/Merrill Lynch, which also increases its price objective $2 to $19 as both sentiment and valuation are near a bottom.

Apple (AAPL): JMP Securities polishes up Apple, raising it to Outperform from Market Perform ($200 target); high margins and Mac sales are among factors cited.

Airliners: JP Morgan upgrades US Airways (LCC) (Neutral from Underweight) and UAL Corp. (UAUA) (Overweight from Underweight).

Lazard (LAZ): Lazard is upgraded at Goldman Sachs (Conviction Buy from Buy).

RadioShack (RSH): Morgan Stanley boosts RadioShack to Overweight from Equal Weight.

Talbots (TLB): It's a good day for Talbots, upgraded by both Citigroup (Buy from Hold) and Piper Jaffray (Neutral from Underweight) after announcing earnings. See yesterday's Ticker Shock for more.


JetBlue (JBLU): JetBlue Airways, upgraded at Argus yesterday (see JetBlue Takes Off), is cut to Neutral from Overweight at JP Morgan, though the target is increased $2.50 to $9.50.

AirTran (AAI): JP Morgan also sees AirTran losing altitude, lowering to Neutral from Overweight (target up $1 to $10).

Electronic Arts (ERTS): Goldman downgrades Electronic Arts to Neutral from Buy.

No positions in stocks mentioned.
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