Nordstrom ( JWN) downgraded at Goldman Sachs to Neutral from Buy based on weak near-term prospects stemming from unseasonably warm weather and a breakdown in inventory discipline since Q2. See difficult macro backdrop and further downside potential if warm weather persists. Price target cut to $46 from $54. Knight Transportation ( KNX) downgraded at Wachovia from Outperform to Market Perform. Company lacks visibility, and the 2008 estimates appear too high. Stock lacks near-term catalysts. Lamar Advertising ( LAMR) downgraded at Bear Stearns from Outperform to Peer Perform. Little visibility for the fourth quarter, and the weak housing market may spill over. Mattel ( MAT) upgraded at Credit Suisse to Outperform from Neutral. Believes risk/reward appears compelling heading into holiday season. Maintained $28 target price. Nalco ( NLC) downgraded at UBS to Sell rating from Neutral. Price target dips to $26 from $27 and FY 2008 eps estimates drop to $1.35 from $1.40. Palm ( PALM) upgraded at Merrill from Neutral to Buy. Near-term fundamentals are sluggish, but the stock is a cheap call option on the surging smartphone market. IMS Health ( RX) downgraded at Baird from Outperform to Underperform. $24 price tagret. Business has deteriorated since June, with selling cycles extending and pricing pressure mounting across the globe. EW Scripps ( SSP) downgraded at Bear from Outperform to Peer Perform. Only 7% upside remains to $49 price target, following word of a split of the two businesses. Company has 40% newspaper ad concentration in California and Florida.
Texas Capital Banc ( TCBI) upgraded at Merrill from Sell to Neutral. Current price already factors in slower lending growth in the Fed easing cycle. Thornburg Mortgage ( TMA) upgraded at Keefe Bruyette & Woods to Market Perform. Stock looks more attractive on sell-off, despite dividend cut. United Dominion ( UDR) initiated at UBS with Neutral rating. Price target starts at $25 with 2008 eps estimates set at $1.89. Washington Mutual ( WM) downgraded at Friedman, Billings Ramsey from Market Perform to Underperform. $23 price target. Housing credit trends are eroding much faster than expected. Wal-Mart ( WMT) upgraded at Goldman Sachs to Buy from Neutral. See shares as inexpensive and "good place to hide" as department store fundamentals are likely to remain unchanged over the next several quarters. See potential upside if management further reduced square footage and believe Q4 earnings could top estimates. Price target at $51.