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Upgrades & Downgrades: Eldorado Gold Continues to Glitter


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

This Friday the 13th falls 13 weeks after our last one in January and 13 weeks before we next revisit the fateful date in July, and the Dow's (^DJI) latest surge still leaves it 13.42 tantalizing points shy of 13,0000, so it could still all end in tears. But for now, wow, what a recovery. Only forty-eight hours on from their single worst showing of 2012, shares posted their best performance in a month after a steep decline in the US trade deficit, easing benchmark bond yields in Spain and Italy, and China announcing a welcome increase in its March loan growth. Hewlett-Packard (HPQ), which decided on its name by tossing a coin in 1939 and whose PC flip flops seemed to be even less scientific in 2011, was grateful for staying in the business after it surged 7.22% as first quarter global computer shipments showed surprising strength. That made it comfortably the best performing blue chip but Bank of America (BAC), up 3.50% itself, had nothing to be ashamed about either, advancing impressively after an unusual yet apparently effective maneuver. Who needs Jiu-Jitsu when there's Ju Jit-sue?

At about this exact hour a century ago, one John Piermont Morgan, the Titanic's ultimate owner, woke up, cursing his misfortune that a delayed business trip compelled him to reluctantly cancel a luxurious maiden voyage at the last minute. The suite he had been booked into, B-52, was by far the fanciest aboard the unsinkable vessel. No worries - this morning the firm he founded reported its revenue rose 24% to a tidy $27.4 billion. Anyone else alive in 1912 would easily recognize the old world industries that dominated yesterday's equity action, with not a trendy Apple (AAPL) in sight. Coal company Alpha Natural Resources (ANR) just upgraded, jumped 9.91% to lead the entire S&P 500 Index (^GSPC). (Titanic's furnaces consumed 825 tons of the fossil fuel every day.) And US Steel (X), created in 1901 with the collusion of Mr. Morgan and Andrew Carnegie, surged 7.52%. Three million rivets were used on the doomed ship and, had the steel-to-iron ratio been even slightly higher, it may well have made it ashore. In a cruel irony, Titan Machinery (TITN) - the name taken from a group in Greek mythology whose hubris compelled them to fight a losing battle with the gods - surged 10.02% to an all time high yesterday.


Athletic apparel: Janney Montgomery Scott begins Buys on Nike (NKE), Finish Line (FINL), Foot Locker (FL), and Hanesbrands (HBI). It assigns new Neutrals on Under Armour (UA) and Hibbett Sports (HIBB), rolling out respective price objectives of $102 and $52.

Derma Sciences (DSCI): Shares are initiated with an Overweight at Piper Jaffray.

Home Loan Servicing (HLSS): The stock is an Equal Weight at Barclays, while Sterne Agee starts Buy rated coverage and sets it a $14.50 price target.

MAKO Surgical (MAKO): MAKO is a new Perform at Oppenheimer, which says that the current valuation already reflects the near-term excitement over its strong partial-knee replacement performance.

Mannkind (MNKD): The company is a new Neutral at Cowen.

Grand Canyon Education (LOPE): LOPE is launched with a Buy and $22 target at Stifel Nicolaus, which cites its good growth prospects.

Jazz Pharmaceuticals (JAZZ): Leerink Swann launches JAZZ at an Outperform.

Sunesis Pharmaceuticals (SNSS): Staying in the sector, the small cap stock is begun with a Buy at Cantor Fitzgerald. (STMP): STMP is started with a Market Perform rating and $29 objective at Northland Securities.

VMware (VMW): Piper Jaffray picks up the tech stock at an Overweight.


Altria (MO): The tobacco titan is taken to Buy from Neutral at Davenport.

Alpha Natural Resources (ANR): Shares are now Buy from Neutral at Nomura.

CNOOC Ltd (CEO): Credit Suisse lifts China's oil giant to Outperform from Neutral.

Dover Corp (DOV): The industrial outfit is upgraded to Equal Weight from Underweight at Morgan Stanley.

Edison International (EIX): EIX gets increased to Outperform from Market Perform with Wells Fargo.

Eldorado Gold (EGO): The stock, which surged 12.06% yesterday, is upgraded this morning by both BMO Capital (Outperform from Market Perform) and TD Securities (Action List Buy from Buy).

Homebuilders: Lennar (LEN), Toll Brothers (TOL), and Pulte Group (PHM) are all lifted to Buy from Hold at Keybanc.

Johnson Controls (JCI): JCI is juiced to Buy from Hold at Deutsche Bank.

SBA Communications (SBAC): Shares are now Overweight from Neutral at Piper Jaffray.

Tal International (TAL): TAL is taken to Outperform from Neutral at Credit Suisse.

Whitestone REIT (WSR): BMO Capital boosts the company to Outperform from Market Perform.


American Tower (AMT): AMT is now Neutral from Overweight at Piper Jaffray.

AmerisourceBergen (ABC): Morgan Stanley moves ABC to Equal Weight from Overweight.

Cedar Shopping Centers (CDR): BMO Capital cuts the company to Market Perform from Outperform.

Celgene (CELG): CELG gets downgraded to Hold from Buy at Auriga.

Dangdang (DANG): The Chinese Internet stock is now Neutral from Outperform at Credit Suisse.

Energy stocks: Cloud Peak Energy (CLD) and CONSOL Energy (CNX) are each now Neutral from Outperform at Credit Suisse

Illinois Tool Works (ITW): ITW is taken to Underweight from Equal Weight at Morgan Stanley.

JB Hunt Transport (JBHT): Shares are reduced to Neutral from Buy at Sterne Agee.

Nokia (NOK): A third downgrade in as many days for the troubled Finnish telecom firm, today taken to Equal Weight from Overweight by Barclays. Shares are once again lower before the opening bell as a result.

PPL Corp (PPL): PPL gets pulled from the Conviction Buy List at Goldman Sachs.
No positions in stocks mentioned.
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