CHANGE IN RATINGS

AMR ( AMR) downgraded at Citigroup to Hold. $24 price target. Higher jet fuel costs will cut into earnings, and upcoming labor talks could also weigh on the shares.

Chicago Mercantile Exchange ( CME) upgraded at Wachovia to Outperform from Neutral. Cites change in macro environment should benefit trading volumes. Believes valuation range should be between $650 and $665.

ConocoPhillips ( COP) downgraded at Deutsche Bank to Sell based on leverage to the weak refining industry as well as natural gas, which has been hurt by weak prices. Note that integrated oils have underperformed the market from Oct 1 to Dec. 5 in 13 of the last 15 years. Price target at $80.

Illinois Tool Works ( ITW) downgraded at Bear Stearns to Peer Perform rating from Outperform. FY 2008 EPS estimates lowered to $3.37 from $3.39.

Southwest Airlines ( LUV) downgraded at Citigroup to Hold. $15.60 price target. Valuation call, as the company is facing slower earnings growth.

MetLife ( MET) downgraded at Merrill Lynch from Buy to Neutral. Valuation call, as the stock is already pricing in consistent earnings over the next several quarters.

National City ( NCC) downgraded at Bear Stearns to Underperform. Company has above-average real estate exposure and there will not likely be a near-term recovery in the housing market.

Research in Motion ( RIMM) downgraded at RBC Capital from Top Pick to Outperform. Valuation call, as the stock is already pricing in market share gains for 2008. $115 price target.

SXCI ( SXCI) upgraded at UBS to Buy rating from Neutral. Price target and FY 2008 EPS estimates hold at $20 and $0.75, respectively.

STOCK COMMENTS / EPS CHANGES

Allstate ( ALL) 2007 estimates raised at Credit Suisse to $7.10 from $6.80 based on relatively light catastrophe load. Maintained Outperform rating.

Covance ( CVD) numbers raised at UBS. Price target lifts to $83 from $73 and FY 2008 EPS estimates upped to $3.20 from $3.14. Reiterates Neutral rating.

Nortel ( NT) price target lowered at Goldman to $16 from $21 due to recent comments from Verizon and view that deferred sales are masking Nortel's declining business. Shift in spending to next-generation technologies will continue to negatively affect NT. Maintained Sell rating.

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