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Upgrades & Downgrades: Can Fossil Come Back to Life?


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

MINYANVILLE ORIGINAL On May 8, 1945, a weary world officially declared Victory in Europe. Events of May 8, 2012 strongly suggest that the celebrating may have been somewhat premature. Yes, World War II is but a frightful fading memory - for the most part; last month Germany helpfully sent Greece a shipment of potatoes containing a couple of hand grenades from the conflict - but the continent remains an economic minefield, its common currency now down for seven straight days and its equities imploding. The Athens market fell 3.6% to its lowest close since November 1992, the same month prodigal son George Stephanopoulos helped Bill Clinton win the White House. Alexis Tsipras, the Radical Leftist prone to driving a fancy BMW to Parliament, decided austerity is only for others and declared the bailout deal "null" and void, unnerving investors everywhere. Apollo Global (APO), named after the Greek god of the sun, cruelly had its best day of the year in advancing 5.33% but far more typical was First Solar (FSLR), which slumped 6.40% to a fresh low.

Bullion cratered along with other commodities and Fossil (FOSL) plunged 37.57% to post the S&P 500's (^GSPC) poorest performance. A singularly unfortunate time, then, for a Nebraska native to change his name to Tyrannosaurus Rex Joseph Gold. Dinosaur gas may or may not have warmed the Earth but the watchmaker unequivocally caused a cacophony of Bronx cheers. 1-800-Flowers (FLWS) rang the opening bell but Scotts Miracle-Gro (SMG) wore a crown of thorns, losing 16.11% in its single worst day for half a decade. In analyst action private jet maker Embraer (ERJ) declined 1.31% after getting downgraded by Citigroup (C). The financial firm once had no hesitation hosting the Money Honey on its own personal planes but now, in a sign of our belt-tightening times, it is happier lending its name to the humble bicycle. Today in economics, March wholesale inventories are expected to slip slightly at 10:00 a.m. Eastern. On the earnings front, AOL Inc (AOL), BMC Software (BMC), Cisco Systems (CSCO), Dollar Thrifty (DTG), Macy's (M), News Corp (NWS), (PCLN), SodaStream (SODA), and Tim Hortons (THI) are all due to release results.


Cornerstone OnDemand (CSOD): Shares are begun with a Buy at Needham, whose price objective is $25. The company appears well positioned to capture the attention of institutional investors seeking more exposure to the industry. (CTRP): Shares are initiated with a Hold at ThinkEquity.

Enphase Energy (ENPH): Shares are initiated with a Buy at Jefferies.

Jive Software (JIVE): JIVE is a new Hold at Needham.

Phillips 66 (PSX): PSX is picked up with an Outperform at Credit Suisse.

Ubiquiti Networks (UBNT): The tech name is a new Outperform with Wedbush.

Under Armour (UA): UA is initiated with a Buy at The Benchmark Company, whose target price $104.

Zynga (ZNGA): Shares are up before the bell after being initiated with a Buy at Citigroup.


American International Group (AIG): AIG is upgraded to Buy from Neutral at Goldman Sachs.

Affymetrix (AFFX): The stock is upgraded to Equal Weight from Underweight at Morgan Stanley.

Arena Pharmaceuticals (ARNA): BMO Capital boosts the company to Outperform from Market Perform.

ARM Holdings (ARMH): ARMH is now Neutral from Sell at DA Davidson, which takes its target up to $25.

Callon Petroleum (CPE): Robert W. Baird raises its recommendation on the small cap stock to Outperform from Neutral, also taking up its target by $2 to $9.

Demand Media (DMD): Shares are upgraded to Buy from Neutral at Citigroup.

Dow Chemical (DOW): Morgan Stanley moves the stock to Overweight from Equal Weight.

Fossil (FOSL): After yesterday's mauling, shares are boosted to Buy from Hold with a $100 target at The Benchmark Company, which cites a talented management team and strong balance sheet.

Hershey (HSY): Highlighting the chocolate company's improving growth prospects, Argus hoists HSY to Buy from Hold with a $78 target.

Inteliquent (IQNT): Shares are upgraded to Outperform from Neutral at Robert W. Baird.

Magellan Health (MGLN): Bank of America-Merrill Lynch gives the equity a Buy-from-Neutral lift.

Parkway Properties (PKI): PKI is upgraded to Market Perform from Underperform at BMO Capital.

RWE AG (RWEOY): The German energy giant gets upgraded to Hold from Sell at Société Générale.

Scotts Miracle-Gro (SMG): Shares are moved to Market Perform from Underperform by BMO Capital.

Sierra Wireless (SWIR): The stock is raised to Outperform from Market Perform at Raymond James. (STMP): Shares are now Outperform from Market Perform at Northland Securities.

St. Jude Medical (STJ): STJ is upgraded to Overweight from Equal Weight at Morgan Stanley.

Thompson Creek Metals (TC): TC is taken to Buy from Hold at TD Securities.

TreeHouse Foods (THS): Janney takes THS to Buy from Neutral.

Under Armour (UA): UA is now Buy from Neutral at UBS.

Veeco Instruments (VECO): The tech stock is upgraded to Overweight from Neutral at Piper Jaffray.


ACE Limited (ACE): The insurance outfit gets downgraded to Neutral from Buy at Goldman Sachs.

AmBev (ABV): The Brazilian brewer is moved to Market Perform from Outperform at Raymond James.

Analog Devices (ADI): ADI is now Neutral from Buy at UBS.

Brookfield Infrastructure (BIP): Shares are downgraded to Market Perform from Outperform at BMO Capital.

Apollo Residential Mortgage (AMTG): Guggenheim gives the company a Neutral-from-Buy downgrade.

Chiquita Brands (CQB): The banana firm is cut to Hold from Buy at Jefferies.

Ducommun (DCO): DCO is downgraded to Hold from Buy at BB&T Capital.

Fossil (FOSL): Two views on FOSL today, as shares are also moved to Neutral from Overweight at JPMorgan.

Generac (GNRC): GNRC gets downgraded to Neutral from Buy at Goldman.

Herbalife (HLF): The company is downgraded to Average from Above Average at Caris & Company, which takes its target down to $39 as the broker says the probability is higher than 50% that David Einhorn will present HLF as a short at the Ira Sohn conference on May 16.

Marvell Technology (MRVL): MRVL is downgraded to Neutral from Buy at UBS.

MercadoLibre (MELI): Shares are moved to Market Perform from Outperform at Raymond James.
No positions in stocks mentioned.
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