Who got upgraded? who got downgraded?

Initiations

Biotech StocksBiogen Idec (BIIB) is initiated at a Buy ($70 target price) at Standpoint Research, which says the firm should benefit from funds rotating out of high beta stocks and into healthcare. McKesson (MCK) also gets a Buy at the same broker as it is best-positioned to benefit from increased demand for generic drugs.

Darden Restaurants (DRI): The stock is also picked up with a Buy and $45 target at Standpoint as the chain is well placed to gain from a spending rebound.

Supervalu (SVU): SVU is started at Buy by Standpoint as headwinds are beginning to reverse.

Ryanair (RYAAY): UBS initiates low cost carrier Ryanair at a Buy.

CIT Group (CIT): The stock is resumed with a Buy at Stifel Nicolaus, $46 target.

Upgrades

McDonald’s (MCD): The restaurant chain is upgraded to Outperform from Neutral at Credit Suisse and its target taken to $71 from $69. Current estimates and valuation fail to adequately reflect the company’s ability to build upon market share gains.

Vale SA (VALE): Barclays boosts mining play Vale SA (Overweight from Equal-weight) and increases its price objective to $39 from $31.

Host Hotels (HST): Bank of America/Merrill Lynch hoists Host Hotels to Buy from Neutral.

Total SA (TOT): European oil giant Total SA gets taken to Buy from Hold at Collins Stewart.

US Steel (X): The stock gets a Buy-from-Hold increase at Deutsche Bank, with the price objective up a steep $77 from $44, due to the attractiveness of its integrated business model.

Xilinx (XLNX): The stock is upped to Outperform from Sector Perform at RBC Capital on continued improvement in enterprise spending.

Tibco Software (TIBX): TIBX is taken to Outperform from Sector Perform at Pacific Crest with a target of $12.

Louisiana-Pacific (LPX): The stock is upgraded to Outperform from Sector Perform at RBC Capital.

Ciena (CIEN): The tech stock is up sharply ahead of the open after an Outperform-from-Neutral upgrade at Credit Suisse, with the target now $19 from $15.50. Ongoing momentum in revenue growth is expected.

Philip Morris International (PM): The tobacco company is upgraded to Outperform at Credit Suisse on an exchange rate improvement. 

Downgrades

Burger King (BKC): The fast-food chain is cut to Neutral from Outperform at Credit Suisse, the price objective also being reduced by $ to $21. Heightened franchisee tensions are among unfavorable factors cited.

Daimler AG (DAI): The stock is downgraded to Neutral from Buy at Nomura.

Baxter International (BAX): Citigroup reduces Baxter International to Hold from Buy.

Genworth Financial (GNW): Bank of America/Merrill lowers Genworth Financial, now Neutral from Buy.

HSBC Holdings (HBC): BNP Paribas takes HSBC Holdings to Underperform from Neutral.

BHP Billiton (BHP): The oil stock gets downgraded to Hold from Buy by ING Group.

Bare Escentuals (BARE): Suntrust cuts Bare Escentuals (Neutral from Buy) after last week’s announcement it will be acquired by Japan’s Shiseido.

IMAX Corp. (IMAX): The stock is lower before the bell after Merriman cut it to Sell from Neutral due to valuation.

Dr. Reddy’s Labs (RDY): Deutsche Bank takes Dr. Reddy’s Labs to Sell from Hold on concerns a resurgent Teva (TEVA) could crowd-out large generic companies across markets.

JA Solar (JASO): The solar energy stock is now Neutral from Buy at Broadpoint Research.

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