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Stock Upgrades: Urban Outfitters Heading Uptown


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

MINYANVILLE ORIGINAL Apple Inc. (AAPL) ended up 2.63% en route to becoming the most valuable stock to have ever traded. Its value of $623 billion surpassed the previous peak of $616 billion attained by arch rival Microsoft (MSFT) on December 27, 1999, which in retrospect turned out to be the sell signal of the millennium. Granted, adjusted for inflation, the Microsoft of that era would be worth $850 billion, but we all know slaying inflation is among Apple's many talents.

Bill Gates, who likely now wrestles with mixed feelings about saving his longtime nemesis from bankruptcy, has turned his attentions to solar powered toilets. As such, he will be troubled by restroom operator Swisher Hygiene (SWSH) imploding 18.84% to post the Nasdaq's (^IXIC) poorest performance.

No top-tier economic data due today, but earnings announcements are expected out of American Woodmark (AMWD), Barnes & Noble (BKS), Best Buy (BBY), Dell Inc. (DELL), DSW Inc. (DSW), Intuit (INTU), Lay-Z-Boy (LZB), Medtronic (MDT), Wet Seal (WTSLA), and Williams-Sonoma (WSM).

Coventry Health Care (CVH): Shares are upgraded to Neutral from Underperform with Wedbush.

Credicorp (BAP): JPMorgan boosts BAP to Overweight from Neutral and takes its target up by $3, to $139.

Enerplus (ERF): ERF is increased to Outperform from Market Perform at Raymond James.

Gap Inc. (GPS): GPS gets upgraded to Buy from Hold with a $42 target at Argus after all three of the company's businesses (Gap, Old Navy, and Banana Republic) reported solid results in fiscal 2Q13.

Knight Transportation (KNX): Shares are now Buy from Hold at Stifel Nicolaus, whose price objective is $18.

Netflix (NFLX): Shares are now Average from Below Average at Caris & Company, which says resolution on the EPIX contract will be announced in the very near-term.

Questcor Pharmaceuticals (QCOR): Bank of America-Merrill Lynch adds the stock to its US 1 list of favored equities.

Urban Outfitters (URBN): Shares, surging some 17% before the bell, are upgraded to Outperform from Market Perform at William Blair. Improved sales visibility and expectations for positive same-store-sales growth are each cited.

Washington REIT (WRE): Shares are moved to Market Perform from Underperform with Wells Fargo.

(See also: New Stock Coverage: Corning Set to Shatter Glass Ceiling and Stock Downgrades: Sotheby's Shares Going, Going, Gone?)
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No positions in stocks mentioned.
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