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Upgrades & Downgrades: Continental Flies High


Maybe the experts know something we don't know.

On an anniversary of dropping dominoes, Domino's Pizza (DPZ) popped up almost 10 percent and even Facebook is making money; how times change. Markets made fresh highs for the year twelve months to the day after the Dow's 504.48 point plunge. Thankfully investors suffered no such bath yesterday, though the scariest shower storyline since Psycho made some squirm.

Bourses were boosted by Ben Bernanke's Brookings belief that the recession is "very likely over", which means its concluded before the Korean War. Apple (AAPL) is at a 52 week high, Applebee's operator DineEquity (DIN) surged 7.6% and Big Apple based Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia (MSO) was up 18.8%. Omaha's Oracle opined on CNBC before the open and California's Oracle reports results after the close on a hectic data day in economics. August CPI, second quarter current account, capacity utilization/industrial production and weekly crude oil inventories are all worth watching.


El Paso (EP) Oppenheimer initiates El Paso Pipeline Partners with an Outperform rating and $22 price objective on strong estimated coverage ratios.

Clear Channel Outdoors (CCO): The stock is assumed at Wells Fargo with a Market Perform.

Upgrades (AMZN): Bank of America/Merrill Lynch boosts to Buy from Neutral ($103 price target).

Continental Airlines (CAL): The airliner gets a 180 degree Buy-from-Sell upgrade and $20 target at Argus. Lower year-on-year fuel costs and signs of a bottom in flight demand are among factors cited.

Aetna (AET): Analysts at Goldman Sachs raise their rating on insurance outfit Aetna to Neutral from Sell, taking their target up $5 to $28.

Fortune Brands (FO): Fortune Brands is in luck, getting a Buy-from Neutral upgrade at Goldman ($48 price objective).


Adobe Systems (ADBE): Jefferies lowers Adobe Systems to Hold from Buy, seeing a lack of synergy from the planed acquisition of Omniture (OMTR).

Mirant (MIR): Mirant is cut to Sell from Hold at Citigroup, which takes its target down $2 to $13.

Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia: This stock gets an Underweight-from-Neutral downgrade at JP Morgan given the stock's recent rally. See Glenn Curtis' article from yesterday.

General Mills (GIS): Cereal and packaged food maker GIS starts the day off wrong, cut to Neutral from Buy at Goldman.
No positions in stocks mentioned.
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