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J.P. Morgan

did a group upgrade on five chip equipment makers this morning, raising them to long-term buy from market performer.

Among the upgraded stocks was

Applied Materials


, which lately was trading up $2.94 to $44.25 in morning activity on the


. Its shares performed well despite receiving

gloomier outlooks by two other analysts this morning. The company

reported its first-quarter earnings yesterday.

Chen also upped his investment ratings on

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ASM Lithography



Varian Semiconductor

( VSEA).

KLA were lately trading up $2.63 to $39.94, while Novellus climbed $2.25 to $41. Varian rose $1.88 to $29.13, but ASM was recently down 13 cents to $23.31.