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Upgrades & Downgrades: Southwest Feeling the Love


Maybe the experts know something we don't know.

Stocks rose on the first day of fall, sending major averages to fresh highs for the year, but betting your bottom dollar was also the order of the day as the greenback slid to a twelve month low against the euro.

Retail reigned with Gap (GPS) gapping up to a 52-week high, Buckle (BKE) (+5.1%) banning belt tightening and an upgrade giving Macy's (M) a gain of 5.5% in a miracle on 34th Street. Eight blocks uptown at the United Nations over 100 world leaders expended hot air on global warming, carefully avoiding carbon footprints where once Khrushchev threw a shoe. In today's action, Red Hat (RHT) reports second quarter earnings, Michael Moore hits the red carpet and you can take it as read the Fed will stand pat on interest rates.


Genworth Financial (GNW): The stock is worthy of a new Neutral rating ($14 price target) at Bank of America/Merrill Lynch.

Supermarkets: Janney Montgomery Scott assumes coverage of several stocks in the supermarket sector including Kroger (KR), Winn-Dixie (WINN) (both Buys), Safeway (SWY) and SuperValu (SVU) (each Neutral).

Palm (PALM): Susquehanna Financial starts Palm with a Neutral. Recently, Sean Udall was Reexamining the Bullish Thesis on Palm.


Southwest Airlines (LUV): Analysts at Argus could sent Southwest shares skyward after an 180 degree upgrade of the airline to Buy from Sell, citing careful capacity management. Price objective is $11.

BlackRock (BLK): BlackRock is boosted by Deutsche Bank, which takes its target on the investment manager to $230 from $180. Blackrock's acquisition of Barclays Global Investors could prove catalytic.

Burlington Northern Santa Fe (BNI): The railroad stock may head north after Citigroup raised its rating to Hold from Sell.

Lowe's (LOW): Lowe's, in need of a lift in light of yesterday's 4% fall, is upgraded to Outperform at FBR Capital Markets after an analyst meeting. Same store sales are still ahead of the sector.

CarMax (KMX): The stock is now in Neutral, up from Sell at Goldman Sachs. See yesterday's article Avoid CarMax Until Investors Hit the Brakes for an alternate opinion.


Carnival Corp. (CCL): Following yesterday's hefty 4.7% gain, the party could be over at Carnival Corp. after Credit Suisse cut the cruise company to Neutral from Outperform.

Stryker (SYK): Stryker is struck down to Market Perform from Outperform at Wells Fargo on FDA overhang issues.

Prudential Financial (PRU): This company is among the insurers lowered at Morgan Stanley, to Equal-Weight from Overweight.

Alberto-Culver (ACV): The stock is downgraded to Neutral from Buy at Goldman.
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No positions in stocks mentioned.
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