NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- The market is looking good at the start. A better-than-expected jobless claims report and strong monthly retail sales figures from various companies are helping lift sentiment. Here are some of the early highlights to check out.

Story Stocks

Alcoa ( AA): Stock is higher following company's Q3 results.

Aeropostale ( ARO): Shares are higher on strong September sales and raised guidance.

Barnes & Noble ( BKS): Stock is flat as company raises guidance.

J.C. Penney ( JCP): Shares ares slightly lower despite company raising guidance.

Marriott International ( MAR): Shares are lower following company's third-quarter results.

Pepsico ( PEP): Stock is slightly higher after company reports earnings.

Ross Stores ( ROST): Shares are higher after company raises third-quarter guidance.

Target ( TGT): Shares are slightly lower despite company seeing estimates above views.

TJX Companies ( TJX): Stock is higher after company raises guidance.

Upgrades to Watch

Arch Coal ( ACI): Goldman Sachs raises price target to $24.

Alpha Natural Resources ( ANR): Goldman Sachs raises price target to $50.

Ansys ( ANSS): Deutsche Bank raises stock to a buy. $45 price target.

Peabody Energy ( BTU): Goldman Sachs raises price target to $50.

Clorox ( CLX): Deutsche Bank raises stock to a buy. $66 price target.

Consol Energy ( CNX): Goldman Sachs raises price target to $54.

ConocoPhillips ( COP): Morgan Stanley raises estimates. $55 price target.

California Pizza Kitchen ( CPKI): KeyBanc raises stock to a buy. $18 price target.

Costco ( COST): Janney Montgomery Scott raises estimates. $65 price target.

eBay ( EBAY): Kaufman Bros. raise stock to a buy. $29 price target.

Equinix ( EQIX): Piper Jaffray raises estimates. $108 price target.

Gardner Denver ( GDI): KeyBanc raises stock to a buy. $42 price target.

GameStop ( GME): Wedbush Morgan raises stock to an outperform. $34 price target.

Goldman Sachs ( GS): Deutsche Bank initiates stock with a buy rating. $220 price target.

ImmunoGen ( IMGN): Brean Murray initiates stock with a buy. $14 price target.

Internet Brands ( INET): Needham initiates stock with a buy rating. $11 price target.

Jefferies ( JEF): Keefe, Bruyette & Woods raises estimates. $26 price target.

JMP Group ( JMP): Keefe, Bruyette & Woods raises estimates. $10.25 price target.

King Pharmaceuticals ( KG): Lazard Capital Markets initiates stock with a buy rating.

Massey Energy ( MEE): Goldman Sachs raises price target to $37.

McKesson ( MCK): Barclays Capital raises estimates and price target to $65.

Monsanto ( MON): Morgan Stanley raises estimates.

Morgan Stanley ( MS): Deutsche Bank initiates stock with a buy rating. $36 price target.

Monster Worldwide ( MWW): JP Morgan raises stock to an outperform. $24 price target.

Northeast Utilities ( NU): Wunderlich Securities initiates stock with a buy rating. $27 price target.

Palm ( PALM): Piper Jaffray raises price target to $24.

Piper Jaffray ( PJC): Keefe, Bruyette & Woods raise price target to $51.

Perrigo ( PRGO): SunTrust Robinson Humphrey initiates stock with a buy rating. $41 price target.

PSS World Medical ( PSSI): Barclays Capital raises estimates. $24 price target.

Rackspace ( RAX): Goldman Sachs raises stock to a buy. $23 price target.

Telesp ( TSP): Credit Suisse raises price target to $31.

Yahoo ( YHOO): Kaufman Bros. raises estimates. $19 price target.

Downgrades to Watch

BB&T ( BBT): UBS initiates with a sell rating. $21 price target.

Comerica ( CMA): Credit Suisse cuts stock to a neutral. $27 price target.

Duff & Phelps ( DUF): Keefe, Bruyette & Woods cuts estimates. $22 price target.

Family Dollar Stores ( FDO): Barclays Capital cuts price target to $28.

FormFactor ( FORM): Citigroup cuts estimates. $30 price target.

FPL Group ( FPL): Morgan Stanley cuts price target to $53.

L3 Communications ( LLL): Goldman Sachs cuts stock to a "conviction sell". $66 price target.

NCR ( NCR): KeyBanc cuts stock to a hold.

PNC Finanical ( PNC): UBS initiates with a sell rating. $37 price target.

Sun Trust Banks ( STI): UBS initiates with a sell rating. $15 price target.

Tata Motors ( TTM): Deutsche Bank cuts stock to a hold.

Wells Fargo ( WFC): UBS initiates stock with a sell rating.

Other Key Indices to Watch

Gold ( GLD): Gold prices are hitting new highs in the early going.

Oil ( USO): Oil prices are up slightly so far.

Treasuries ( TLT): Bond prices are up despite the early strength in stocks.

What's the Trade?

I am watching the retail stocks to see if they can hold the early gains from the start. They will be the key indicators as to which direction the market heads today.

Be sure to visit our complete recommended list of the Best Dividend Stocks as well as a detailed explanation of our ratings system.

Written by Tom Reese in Brigantine, N.J.

At the time of publication, the author had no positions in stocks mentioned, although positions may change at any time.

Tom Reese and Paul Rubillo are senior editors of Dividend.com. Visit Dividend.com for more dividend stock ratings, picks, news, and analysis for long-term and income-seeking investors.

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