The firm cut its rating on the automaker to sell from neutral, citing a runup in the stock in recent months. Merrill said it believes the risks associated with CEO Alan Mulally's turnaround efforts aren't priced in at current levels. Ford fell 15 cents early Tuesday to $8.50.
surged $1.19 to $36.90 after Merrill upgraded the automaker to buy from sell, citing strong liquidity and "increasingly optimistic" sentiment. Merrill set a $50 target on the stock.