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Upgrades & Downgrades: Cisco Gets a Boost


Maybe the experts know something we don't know.

After hitting 11-month highs on Tuesday, stocks slipped in subsequent sessions and ended with their steepest weekly drop since July. The Lost Symbol won big at bookstores but tickers everywhere tanked. KB Home (KBH) fell 8.5% on Friday and KB Toys founder auctioned off assets. EBay's (EBAY) ex-head announced a gubernatorial run in California, so expect more garage sales to bail out that beleaguered economy.

The FDIC's seizure of a bank in Georgia (the state, not the country) was the 95th such failure so far this year, not including those existing on governmental gifts. It's a quiet day in economics, Cal-Maine (CALM) is out with first quarter earnings and Xerox (XRX) just copied Dell's (DELL) merger Monday strategy by announcing an acquisition of Affiliated Computer Services (ACS) for $6.4 billion. And a huge loss for words as arguably the most articulate William since Shakespeare exits stage right; rest in peace Bill Safire.


Financials: Goldman Sachs assumes coverage of People's United Financial (PBCT) (Neutral) and Hudson City Bancorp (HCBK) (Sell).

Thoratec (THOR): Auriga initiates Thoratec with a Buy and a $40 objective on a favorable view its second generation HeartMate II device.

Bank of America (BAC): CB Richard Ellis is picked up at Bank of America/Merrill Lynch with a Neutral.


Cisco (CSCO): Barclays takes Cisco to Overweight from Equal Weight.

Stericycle (SRCL): Stericycle is upgraded to Gradually Accumulate from Hold by Soleil, which sets a $56 price target.

United Community Banks (UCBI): The stock is boosted to Buy at Sun Trust Robinson Humphrey with an objective of $7.50.

Cabot Oil & Gas (COG): SunTrust raises its Cabot Oil & Gas rating to Buy from Neutral.

Applied Materials (AMAT): Citigroup upgrades Applied Materials (Buy from Hold).

Duke Realty (DRE): Citigroup is also upgrading Duke Realty to Buy from Hold.


MEMC Electronics (WFR): Citigroup lowers MEMC Electronic to Hold from Buy.

Retailers: Jones Apparel (JNY) and Liz Claiborne (LIZ) are both cut to Neutral from Buy at Goldman.

Jos. A. Bank (JOSB): The retailer is downgraded to Hold from Buy at Argus as the shares appear fully valued.

Cameco (CCJ): Cameco is cut to Hold from Buy at Canaccord Adams.

Boston Properties (BXP): Stifel Nicolaus downgrades Boston Properties to Hold from Buy.

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