Widely held grocery stocks were generally off to a healthy start Monday, with only
trading in negative territory.Whole Foods shares got a lift Monday after an analyst at Friedman, Billings, Ramsey upgraded the stock to market perform from underperform, citing effective cost-cutting and a favorable antitrust settlement with the FTC in which it will sell 13 Wild Oats stores. The analyst also raised her price target on the stock to $14. Whole Foods shares were recently up 5.4% to $15.16.
, on the other hand, was treading in negative territory Monday, with shares recently down 0.5% to $48.96, a drop that some have attributed to
Ben Bernanke's assertion
that the recession could end in 2009.
If that's the case, Bernanke's comments did not have a similar effect on bulk sellers
-- which rose 1.4% to $42.77 -- and
-- recently up 2.1% to $30.01.Elsewhere:
Shares of Kroger were up 0.4% to $21.34.
Safeway rose 2.5% to $19.72.
SuperValu rose 2.6% to $15.36.
Great Atlantic & Pacific Tea Co. ( GAP) rose 8.8% to $5.21.
Winn Dixie ( WINN) rose 0.9% to $9.02.