Stock Upgrades: Yesterday's Mutiny Provides Bounty for P&G Shareholders


A day after effortlessly shrugging off the Syrian Electronic Army , the Dow (^DJI) decided to have a Road to Damascus conversion. Turnaround Tuesday arrived 24 hours late, with blue chips falling 43.16 amid decidedly iffy durable goods data.

General Dynamics ( GD ), which makes Gulfstream business jets, surged 6.90% to a fresh 52-week peak but an unloved Amgen ( AMGN ) had better get rid of its own one quick after imploding 6.94% in its worst single session showing for several years.

Elsewhere, even old reliables mom and Apple ( AAPL ) pie failed to reward investors with Ma Bell AT&T (T) tumbling 5.03% and the erstwhile tech titan taking its 2013 decline to 24%. And the John Thain portfolio proved particularly profitable. The CEO of upgraded CIT Group (CIT) saw that stock surge 4.26% while his longtime nickname iRobot (IRBT) rose 13.71% to a fresh 52-week peak and the Superman lookalike will have equally enjoyed a 5.44% jump in US Steel (X).

The single busiest day of earnings season has arrived with Amazon (AMZN), AstraZeneca (AZN), Bristol-Myers Squibb (BMY), Coca-Cola (KO), ConocoPhillips (COP), Exxon Mobil (XOM), Gazprom ( OGZPY ), JetBlue Airways (JBLU), Starbucks (SBUX), and United Parcel Service (UPS) all due to report results.

Akamai Technologies (AKAM): JPMorgan moves the stock to Neutral from Overweight.

Apple Inc. ( AAPL ): Amid optimism over its dividend and stock repurchase program, Hilliard Lyons lifts the troubled tech titan to Buy from Long-Term Buy.

Asbury Automotive (ABG): ABG gets increased to Buy from Hold at Craig Hallum.

Canadian Pacific Railway (CP): Raymond James juices its rating to Outperform from Market Perform.

Cheesecake Factory (CAKE): CAKE is now Neutral from Underperform at Buckingham Research.

Crown Castle International (CCI): Macquarie moves the company to Outperform from Neutral.

Edwards Lifesciences (EW): Calling yesterday's NYSE-worst 21.99% tumble excessive, Northland Capital lifts the stock to Market Perform from Underperform.

F5 Networks (FFIV): The company is upgraded to Buy from Neutral at Nomura.

Federal-Mogul (FDML): Shares are now Neutral from Sell at Goldman Sachs.

First Niagara (FNFG): Raymond James raises the Savings & Loans stock to Market Perform from Underperform.

Infinera (INFN): Shares are now Buy from Hold with a $12 target at Needham, which notes robust orders from both new and existing customers.

IPC The Hospitalist Company (IPCM): The health services provider gets a Buy-from-Hold hoist at Deutsche Bank.

Lumber Liquidators (LL): Stifel lifts LL to Hold from Sell.

Potlatch (PCH): Raymond James increases the industrial Real Estate Investment Trust to Outperform from Market Perform.

Procter & Gamble ( PG ): The Dow member, whose brands include Bounty, Crest, and Tide, is today taken to Buy from Neutral at SunTrust. Yesterday's 5.88% stock slide, its worst showing for about four years, provides investors with an attractive entry point in the broker's estimation. Shares are, accordingly, rebounding before the bell as I write.

Residential REITs : FBR Capital raises Real Estate Investment Trusts Annaly Capital (NLY) - Perform from Underperform, taking its target price to $15.50 from $13.50 - and Two Harbors (TWO) - added to its Top Picks list. Catalysts include recent home price appreciation and improvements in sub prime credit quality.

ServiceNow (NOW): Shares are moved to Buy from Neutral at Mizuho, which also increases its price objective to $45 from $35 on a stock it says stands to benefit from an ongoing secular shift to hosted applications.

TriQuint Semiconductor (TQNT): Raymond James takes TQNT to Market Perform from Underperform.

Waste Management (WM): Shares are taken to Buy from Hold with Wunderlich, whose objective also increases to $43 from $35. Meaningful margin expansion can occur from current levels, in its opinion.

Yum Brands (YUM): An impressive earnings release sees the owner of KFC, Pizza Hut, and Taco Bell score a Market Perform-from-Underperform upgrade at Raymond James.

Zoetis (ZTS): The animal health outfit, a recent spin-off from Pfizer (PFE), is boosted to Market Perform from Underperform by BMO Capital.

(See also: New Stock Coverage: Sink Your Teeth Into Diamondback Energy and Stock Downgrades: McGraw-Hill Has Mountain to Climb . )

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

This article appears in: Investing , Stocks

Referenced Stocks: AAPL , AMGN , GD , OGZPY , PG



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