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Upgrades & Downgrades: Red Ink for Research in Motion?

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Maybe the experts know something we don't know.

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Money never sleeps, they say, but it certainly slumbers. Hit with a loss of energy, stocks slipped a second successive session as sellers reclined in a La-Z-Boy (LZB) (-14.26%) before jumping into Bed Bath and Beyond (BBBY) (-3.25%). Apparently even Gordon Gekko, last seen in need of arrest, now requires a rest, especially as today he is officially old. Alas even stuffing money into mattresses ain't fail safe, since Simmons' night time reading is about to include an eleventh chapter.

Meanwhile eyes were mostly moist in Steel City, and not solely due to tear gas, after Pittsburgh's pride Alcoa (AA) fell 4.46%. While G20 leaders continue to pontificate in Pennsylvania, the UN Secretary General mans the fort in Manhattan and finds himself, in the immortal words of Arthur, "caught between the (Ban Ki-) moon and New York City". New home sales for August are announced at 10:00 AM Eastern and KB Home (KBH) is out with earnings.

Initiations

Procter & Gamble (PG) is picked up at Jefferies (Buy; $70 target price), which sees the recent CEO change as a catalyst. Jefferies is less sanguine about Colgate (CL), assuming coverage of the consumer company with a Hold and $80 price objective as it trades at a slight premium to peers.

Carnival (CCL) gets set for a Friday night celebration after Nomura (NMR) starts it off with a Buy.

William Blair rolls out research on American Express (AXP) and Discover Financial (DFS), each an Outperform.

Nordstrom (JWN) is initiated with a Buy ($39 target) at KeyBanc Capital on contracting California and credit headwinds.

Upgrades

Bank of America/Merrill Lynch (BAC) raises its Rockwell Collins rating to Neutral from Underperform, taking the objective up $12 to $55. The broker has a less conservative outlook on Collins' commercial systems.

Airlines are upgraded at UBS, with Alaska Air Group (ALK), Continental Airlines (CAL), US Airways (LCC), AMR Corp (AMR) and UAL Corp (UAUA) all now Buy from Neutral.

McAfee (MFE) gets moved up to Outperform from Market Perform at FBR Capital (FBCM). The target also goes to $50 from $41 on stronger than expected September deal flows.

Downgrades

Research in Motion (RIMM) is downgraded by Deutsche Bank (DB) (Sell from Hold) and Raymond James (RJF) (Market Perform from Outperform) and Goldman Sachs (GS) (Neutral from Buy) after yesterday's endlessly interesting action in the stock.

Massey Energy (MEE) learns it's not all about MEE as JP Morgan (JPM) lowers the shares to Neutral from Overweight.

In an ominous sounding development, Oppenheimer cuts all of Mannkind (MNKD) (Underperform from Perform) on the belief an AFRESA partnership agreement is unlikely to be secured by the third quarter of '09.

The next leg up in Legg Mason (LM) may be more difficult after an Underperform-from-Neutral downgrade at Bank of America/Merrill Lynch.

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No positions in stocks mentioned.
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