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Upgrades & Downgrades: Apple Finally Falls From Money Tree


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

Well, he did warn us it is the cruelest month. And for those hard-nosed finance types inclined to dismiss T.S. Eliot as just another flaky artist, please note that the poet also had ample experience working for a bank. Actually, April has historically been the best month for the Dow (^DJI) but as any poet can tell you, history tends to rhyme rather than repeat. The pain in Spain - where a debt auction failed to yield anything as priceless as that Picasso recently picked up at a five and dime - and the Fed's failure to provide more monetary morphine meant markets posted their worst week of the year in four holiday-shortened sessions. American Pie is back in movie theaters and Ricky Martin, who opened on Broadway in Evita on Thursday, is again commanding water coolers but the Nasdaq (^IXIC) failed to live la Vida Loca like it was 1999, its best ever year now merely a memory as the tech-heavy index snapped a seven-week winning streak. Research in Motion (RIIM) tumbled 13.8% as investors wondered aloud whether BlackBerry's may soon become redundant. (Fear not, for if Encyclopedia Britannica is any indication, that will do wonders for sales.)

International Business Machines (IBM) fell from recent highs amid a Masters controversy but got the last laugh when its Watson computer actually ended up winning the tournament. Other victors on the week included Macy's, now up 66.14% in 12 months to a lifetime high in a week the stock and the store were each on fire. The department store's founder perished on the Titanic. Forget stocks - picking up a dollar for every time you hear that ship mentioned this week will make you a millionaire by Wednesday. And watchmaker Fossil Inc (FOSL) advanced 4.6% to a new all-time peak. A stunning showing that, unlike those $30,000 timepieces favored by Russia's men of the cloth, won't easily disappear. No top-tier economic announcements out today but Commerce Bancshares (CBSH), Greenbrier Cos (GBX), Penford Corp (PENX), Regis Corp (RGS), Tortoise Capital Resources (TTO), and Zep Inc (ZEP) are all due to report earnings.


Online travel: (PCLN) shares are picked up with an Outperform at Pacific Crest, which assigns it a price objective of $885. Sector Performs are started on TripAdvisor (TRIP) and Expedia (EXPE).

Discount brokers: Charles Schwab Corp (SCHW) gets begun with a Buy at Goldman Sachs. New Neutrals are established on E*TRADE (ETFC) and TD Ameritrade (AMTD), the latter with a $20.50 price target.

LinkedIn (LNKD): LNKD is launched with a Hold at Needham, which says a premium valuation already reflects its strong business trends and competitive advantages.

GSI Group (GSIG): GSIG is begun with a Buy at Needham, whose target is $16.

Home Loan Servicing (HLSS): Citigroup has a Neutral on HLSS.

NuVasive (NUVA): NUVA is a new Market Perform with Wells Fargo.

Tesoro Logistics LP (TLLP): TLLP is a new Neutral at JP Morgan.


Randgold Resources (GOLD): GOLD shares are surging before the bell after being upgraded to Buy from Hold with a $110 target price at Stifel Nicolaus. Catalysts include an attractive growth profile, stable operating margin outlook, and favorable exploration opportunities.

DR Horton (DHI): The home builder is added to the Short-Term Buy List at Deutsche Bank.

Tyco International (TYC): Shares are taken to Buy from Hold with a $65 objective at Argus after its recent well received flow control deal.

Athletic apparel: Dick's Sporting Goods (DKS) and Under Armour (UA) are each now Buy from Neutral at Sterne Agee, the latter with a price objective of $110.

Eastman Chemical (EMN): Shares are added to Goldman Sachs' Conviction Buy List.

El Paso Electric (EEP): Jefferies juices its recommendation to Buy from Hold.

Flextronics (FLEX): The tech stock is taken to Strong Buy from Outperform at Raymond James.

HEICO (HEI): HEI is hoisted to Outperform from Sector Perform at RBC Capital.

Helmerich & Payne (HP): Guggenheim gives the equity a Buy-from-Neutral boost.

SBA Communications (SBAC): Citi raises its rating to Buy from Neutral.

True Religion (TRLG): The apparel outfit was taken to Buy from Hold at The Benchmark Company, whose target is $32. Among the favorable factors are its strength of color and an appealing equity valuation.

Titan Machinery (TITN): TITN is upgraded to Outperform from Neutral with a new higher target of $37 at Robert W. Baird.


Apple Inc (AAPL): No, your eyes don't deceive you, Apple has actually been downgraded. Shares are cut to Neutral from Buy at BTIG Research. It says investors should pause and consider changing dynamics in the post-paid wireless industry, which has seen margins squeezed.

Media & Entertainment: Citigroup gives Neutral-from-Buy downgrades to Dow member Walt Disney (DIS) in addition to CBS Corp (CBS), Scripps (SNI), News Corp(NWSA), and Discovery Communications (DISCA), whose price target is trimmed by $1 to $52. The bank is citing a slowdown in cable advertising and the contraction of network television's total day ratings.

Monsanto (MON): MON is moved to Buy from Conviction Buy at Goldman Sachs after recent share price appreciation. Its price target is kept intact at $90.

Centene (CNC): Shares are now Neutral from Positive at Susquehanna.

Evercore (EVR): Bank of America-Merrill Lynch lowers EVR to Neutral from Buy.

F5 Networks (FFIV): FFIV is downgraded to Hold from Sell at Stifel Nicolaus due to valuation concerns.

Infosys (INFY): The Indian outsourcing giant gets downgraded to Market Perform from Outperform by brokerage William Blair.

InterMune (ITMN): Shares are cut to Sector Perform from Outperform at RBC Capital.

MetroPCS (PCS): The stock is lower ahead of the open after getting downgraded to Neutral from Outperform at Macquarie.

Molina Healthcare (MOH): MOH is cut to Hold from Buy at Cantor Fitzgerald, which says its failure to win a role in Ohio's expanded Medicaid program is disappointing.

Oiltanking Partners (OILT): JP Morgan moves the equity to Neutral from Overweight.

Parametric (PMTC): Shares are downgraded to Hold from Buy at Canaccord Genuity.

Polycom (PLCM): PLCM gets taken to Sector Perform from Outperform at RBC Capital.

United Rentals (URI): RBC Capital cuts the company to Outperform from Top Pick.
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