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Stock Upgrades: Starbucks Not Your Average Joe

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Wall Street ratings agencies set the tone for today's stock market.

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MINYANVILLE ORIGINAL Shares snapped a two-session slump in some style after President Obama contended of our fiscal cliff, "We can probably solve this in about a week. It's not that tough," at a speech to the Business Roundtable. Not to be confused with the Algonquin Round Table, whose ringleader Dorothy Parker famously remarked "Ducking for apples - change one letter and it's the story of my life."

Apple (AAPL) stock certainly ended under water, slumping 6.64%. Ms. Parker also once said "Brevity is the soul of lingerie" but Victoria's Secret owner Limited Brands (LTD) bucked an otherwise up day and ended off 0.14% amid iffy analyst comments. "A hangover is the wrath of grapes" was another quotation attributed to the woman who liked her wit as dry as her martinis. With such an arch eye for irony, she will thus appreciate alcohol outfit Brown Forman (BF.B) hitting the highest level in its history on the very anniversary of Prohibition's repeal.

It's quite a quiet day in economic data but quarterly earnings announcements are expected out of Analogic (ALOG), Cooper Companies (COO), Esterline Technologies (ESL), H&R Block (HRB), Lululemon Athletica (LULU), Methode Electronics (MEI), Smithfield Foods (SFD), and Stein Mart (SMRT).

Canadian Pacific (CP): Stifel Nicolaus raises the railway to Buy from Hold. It is enthusiastic about the initiatives undertaken by the company's new CEO.

Chevron (CVX): Dahlman Rose hoists CVX to Buy from Hold after the oil giant and Dow (^DJI) component provided an update on its Gorgon LNG (Liquefied Natural Gas) project in Australia.

EverBank Financial (EVER): Raymond James raises its recommendation to Strong Buy from Outperform due to positive operating leverage, and superior growth. The new increased price objective is $17.

Fastenal (FAST): Shares are moved to Outperform from Market Perform at William Blair, which says sales trends will stabilize in the coming months.

Mediaset (MDIUY): The stock is now Neutral from Sell at BNP Paribas.

Real Estate Investment Trusts: UBS gives Buy-from-Neutral boosts to Alexandria Real Estate (ARE), Apartment Investment & Management (AIV), Boston Properties (BXP), General Growth Properties (GGP), and Simon Property Group (SPG).

Southern Copper (SCCO): SCCO is now Buy from Neutral at Citigroup, which sees increased scarcity value for mining investors following Freeport McMoRan's (FCX) diversification plans.

Starbucks (NASDAQ:SBUX): The coffee company gets upgraded to Outperform from Neutral at Robert W. Baird, which also takes its target up by $7 to $62. The broker came away from yesterday's investor meeting with renewed confidence that impressive earnings momentum can continue over the next 12-24 months.

(See also: New Stock Coverage: Lions Gate a Paper Tiger? and Stock Downgrades: No Hollywood Ending for Netflix.)
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No positions in stocks mentioned.
The information on this website solely reflects the analysis of or opinion about the performance of securities and financial markets by the writers whose articles appear on the site. The views expressed by the writers are not necessarily the views of Minyanville Media, Inc. or members of its management. Nothing contained on the website is intended to constitute a recommendation or advice addressed to an individual investor or category of investors to purchase, sell or hold any security, or to take any action with respect to the prospective movement of the securities markets or to solicit the purchase or sale of any security. Any investment decisions must be made by the reader either individually or in consultation with his or her investment professional. Minyanville writers and staff may trade or hold positions in securities that are discussed in articles appearing on the website. Writers of articles are required to disclose whether they have a position in any stock or fund discussed in an article, but are not permitted to disclose the size or direction of the position. Nothing on this website is intended to solicit business of any kind for a writer's business or fund. Minyanville management and staff as well as contributing writers will not respond to emails or other communications requesting investment advice.

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