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Upgrades & Downgrades: Limited Upside for Limited Brands


Maybe the experts know something we don't know.


On the day Springsteen turned 60 maybe the market was bound, and Born, to Run out of gas. Stocks, up immediately after the Fed's interest rate announcement, abruptly turned tail to slip for the second time this week. Indeed yesterday's tea leaves were uniformly tough to read; Carnival (CCL) was both upgraded (Raymond James) and downgraded (Credit Suisse), poetic justice saw Jarden (JAH) (+4.25%) and Darden (DRI) (-4.62%) move in opposite directions, and weight loss leader NutriSystem (NTRI) shed 9.79% even as Interleukin Genetics (ILI) beefed up 270% after patients responded positively to its diet program.

A paean to profits opened to mostly negative reviews on Wall Street, amid doubts about its director's ability to take criticism on the chin. Pittsburgh steels itself for the G20 Summit, initial unemployment claims and August existing home sales are announced and Rite Aid (RAD) and Research in Motion (RIMM) report results. See also Large Move in Store for Research in Motion. In fact, research departments everywhere have been much in motion this morning...


Limited Brands (LTD): Goldman Sachs sees limited upside for Limited and assumes coverage with a Neutral.

Cognizant Technology Solutions (CTSH): The stock is picked up by Robert Baird (Outperform and $45 price target) on good growth prospects.


Red Hat (RHT): Bank of America/Merrill Lynch tips its hat to Red Hat, upgrading (Buy from Neutral) after earnings and increasing its price objective by $5.50 to $29.

National Semiconductor (NSM): The chip company is boosted to Buy from Hold at Citigroup.

Dr. Reddy's Laboratories (RDY): Morgan Stanley upgrades Dr. Reddy's Labs, raising it to Overweight from Equal-Weight.

Autozone (AZO): AutoZone is in the zone after FBR Capital raises it to Market Perform from Underperform even as the target price is taken down $3 to $134 following fourth quarter earnings.

KLA-Tencor (KLAC): Oppenheimer upgrades KLA-Tencor (Perform from Underperform) on a recovery in semiconductor capital equipment.

Meritage Homes (MTH): The housing stock is increased to Conviction Buy from Neutral by Goldman.


Bed Bath & Beyond (BBBY): Credit Suisse downgrades Bed Bath & Beyond to Neutral from Outperform, though the target is taken up $6 to $41. For more, see Bed, Bath & Beyond Any Chance of Shining?

Cardinal Health (CAH): Cardinal Health is cut to Hold from Buy at Deutsche Bank.

AstraZeneca (AZN): Goldman reduces its AstraZeneca rating (Sell from Neutral) ahead of court hearings over cholesterol drug Crestor.

L-3 Communications (LLL): The stock gets lowered to Neutral from Overweight at JP Morgan due to military contractors being adversely impacted by a slippage in government spending.

AnnTaylor (ANN): Goldman is downgrading AnnTaylor to Neutral from Buy.

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No positions in stocks mentioned.
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