Albemarle ( ALB) upgraded at Goldman Sachs to Buy from Neutral due to early cycle exposure, easing feedstock costs and improving pricing power. Expect improving sentiment to drive multiple expansion as investors look for compelling earnings rebound opportunities. Price target raised to $32 from $19.

Brocade ( BRCD) upgraded at Merrill/BofA from Neutral to Buy. $6 price target. Debt concerns have been overblows, though estimates are being cut through 2010.

Dr. Pepper Snapple ( DPS) upgraded at JPMorgan to Neutral from Underweight. Expect improvement in North American beverage environment to boost volumes during 2009. Note aggressive guidance but believe downside in stock is limited. Price target raised to $21 from $18.

ITT Educational ( ESI) downgraded at ThinkEquity from Buy to Accumulate. $117 price target. Company should post strong near-term results, though market sentiment has shifted away from defensive sectors.

Google ( GOOG) rated new Buy at Benchmark. $430 price target. Growth is resilient in the current environment, and the company can sustain market share gains.

Gymboree ( GYMB) upgraded at Merrill/BofA from Underperform to Buy. March sales show that problems have begun to work themselves out. $33 price target.

LAN Airlines ( LFL) upgraded at Credit Suisse to Outperform from Neutral. Believes company has much lower earnings risk than its Brazillian peers. Raised target price to $13 from $11.

Lam Research ( LRCX) upgraded at Oppenheimer from Perform to Outperform. $35 price target. Channel checks suggest that cyclical inflection point is closer than expected.

Microsemi ( MSCC) downgraded at Barclays from Overweight to Equal-weight. $10 price target. DOJ lawsuit and recent business weakness could hurt near-term earnings.

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