Goldman Sachs analyst Deane Dray said that Agilent Technologies' (A) - Get Report upcoming distribution of shares would put near-term pressure on the stock but maintained the firm's recommended list rating and earnings estimates.

Merrill Lynch

cut

Gillette's

(G) - Get Report

2000 EPS view to $1.23 from $1.25 and its June quarter sales estimate to 2% from 4%. However, Merrill said it sees Gillette meeting the second-quarter consensus estimate of 28 cents.

Upgrades

Affiliated Managers

(AMG) - Get Report

: UP to near-term accumulate from neutral at Merrill Lynch.

Kohl's

(KSS) - Get Report

: UP to buy from outperform at

Lehman Brothers

.

NDS

(NNDS)

: UP to outperform from neutral at

Morgan Stanley Dean Witter

; price target: 65.

Downgrades

BlackRock

(BLK) - Get Report

: DOWN to near-term neutral from buy at Merrill Lynch.

Federated Investors

(FII) - Get Report

: DOWN to near-term accumulate from buy at Merrill Lynch.

Neuberger Berman

(NEU) - Get Report

: DOWN to near-term neutral from accumulate at Merrill.

Shaw Industries

(SHX)

: DOWN to hold from buy at CSFB by analyst Dennis Rosenberg and DOWN to intermediate-term accumulate from buy at Merrill.

Westpoint Stevens

(WXS)

: DOWN to near-term accumulate from buy at Merrill Lynch.

Initiations

BJ Services

(BJS)

: NEW strong buy at

Banc of America Securities

; price target: 90.

Echelon

(ELON)

: NEW strong buy at

Thomas Weisel Partners

; price target: 80.

Proxim

(PROX)

: NEW strong buy at Thomas Weisel; price target: 100.