Stock Upgrades: E*TRADE Babies Set for Mother of All Rallies?


It's not for me to argue with T.S. Eliot - especially in this the season of poetry - but April, far from being "the cruelest month," has historically been the single best for blue chips. Alas this year the Dow (^DJI) does not appear to be adhering to the script, with a second straight decline leaving stocks poised for their worst week of 2013.

While the market continues to throw raspberries at investors, grocery giant Fairway ( FWM ) took its two-session post IPO surge to an astonishing 42.39%. It has come a long way from humble origins in 1933, the depths of the Depression. Brother, can you spare a dime? More like apples going for a wooden nickle if you were lucky .

So some perspective, please, amid all the hand wringing as Apple ( AAPL ) tumbles to "only" $392.05. In a session that saw many shareholders get soaked, the umbrellas of Travelers ( TRV ) scored a broker boost and Verizon (VZ), flooded during Super Storm Sandy , surged 2.77% to a new high water mark.

No top-tier economic data due today, but a frenzied first full week of quarterly earnings announcements concludes with Baker Hughes (BHI), General Electric (GE), Honeywell (HON), Kimberly-Clark (KMB), McDonald's (MCD), Schlumberger (SLB), State Street (STT), Under Armour (UA), and Indian outsourcer Wipro (WIT) all expected to release results.

Astoria Financial (AF): Shares get raised to Perform from Underperform at Keefe Bruyette.

AutoNation (AN): The stock, a stellar performer yesterday, is upgraded to Hold from Sell at Deutsche Bank.

El Paso Electric (EE): EE is increased to Buy from Hold at Jefferies.

E*TRADE ( ETFC ): The discount broker, famous for its baby ads , is moved to Market Perform from Underperform at Keefe Bruyette.

Fiat Industrial ( FNDSF ): Morgan Stanley moves the stock to Overweight from Equal-Weight.

MAXIMUS (MMS): Shares are upgraded to Outperform from Perform at Raymond James.

NeoPhotonics (NPTN): The stock is now Buy from Hold with a $7.50 target price at Needham, which notes potential strength in China.

Nokia (NOK): NOK, which nose dived yesterday, is upgraded to Market Perform from Underperform by BMO Capital Markets. (OSTK): The stock, which surged 37.00% to top the Nasdaq (^IXIC) on Thursday, gets an unusual 180 degree boost (Buy from Underperform) at Bank of America-Merrill Lynch. The broker says Q1 "looks like a sea change" for the company, and its price objective also increases by $8, to $20. Shares are up 1.6% as a result in pre-market trading.

Preferred Bank (PFBC): Raymond James raises its recommendation to Outperform from Market Perform.

Telefónica (TEF): TEF is taken to Outperform from Perform by Bernstein.

Toll Brothers (TOL): TOL is upgraded to Outperform from Perform at Keefe Bruyette.

Turkcell (TKC): Shares are now Neutral from Sell at UBS.

Vertex Pharmaceuticals (VRTX): Shares, surging some 51.31% before the bell, are now Neutral from Sell at Goldman Sachs after encouraging VX-661 and Ivacaftor Phase 2 study data.

(See also: New Stock Coverage: Ameriprise Turns Tommy Lee Jones Into Fat Cat and Stock Downgrades: Coach Handbag Contains No Cash .)

The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of The NASDAQ, Inc.

This article appears in: Investing , Stocks

Referenced Stocks: AAPL , ETFC , FNDSF , FWM , TRV



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