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Analyst Upgrades/Downgrades

Baran Targets 118 YEN USD

“The yen broke through the 100 dollar resistance level Friday and was trading at 101.63, its weakest level in more than 4 ½ years.

Now the question is will how low can it go. David Baran, co-founder of Tokyo-based hedge fund Symphony Financial Partners, says he doesn’t see the dollar stopping until 115 to 118 yen.

“Give it time, it will happen,” he tells The Wall Street Journal….”

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Analyst Get Giddy Bullish as They Call For Some Stocks to Double

“Investors often hear about analyst upgrades and new “Buy” ratings. What they do not hear from most Wall Street analysts is the prediction that a stock price could double or come close to doubling. Most analysts do not want to get that bold by predicting ”the next Apple” because a call like that can wreck a career. These all come with high risk, but some investors might be inclined to consider these as being extreme value stocks based on the projected upside.

Most stocks simply do not double over the course of a year, and identifying the next double, or ten-bagger, generally has a lot of risk that companies like 3M and GE just do not have. Such calls generally come from boutique research firms, but that is not always the case.

Ocean Power Technologies, Inc. (NASDAQ: OPTT) and XOMA Corporation (NASDAQ: XOMA) were highlighted as stocks which could more than double by analyst calls On Thursday. Deckers Outdoor Corporation (NASDAQ: DECK) is a runner-up as the call was close enough to a double that it caught our attention from the same day, and a call from Monday on Pure Cycle Corp. (NASDAQ: PCYO) will catch the eyes of small-cap and speculative investors with the risk appetite for such a small stock….”

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$TSLA Gets an A+ From Consumer Reports

“DETROIT (Reuters) – Consumer Reports magazine awarded a near-perfect score to Tesla MotorsCo’s Model S, citing the electric car’s power, “pinpoint” handling and quiet, well-crafted interior.

The score of 99 out of 100 puts the Model S far ahead of other electric and gas-powered rivals, including the Porsche Panamera sports car and the Fisker Karma plug-in hybrid.

“Slipping behind the wheel of the Tesla Model S is like crossing into a promising zero-emissions future,” the highly influential magazine said in its review on Thursday. “It’s what Marty McFly might have brought back in place of his DeLorean in ‘Back to the Future’.”

Consumer Reports last gave a near-perfect score six years ago to the Lexus LS 460L luxury sedan made by Toyota Motor Corp, according to the magazine, which has more than 8 million subscribers.

The positive review comes on the heels of Tesla reporting its first quarterly profit in its 10-year history. Chief Executive Elon Musk is attempting to reach a broader group of buyers with the Model S electric sedan.

Consumer Reports said a Model S equipped with an 85 kilowatt hour battery was able to get 200 miles between electric charges. Range varied between 180 miles on cold winter days to about 225 miles in more moderate temperatures….”

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David Einhorn is Adding to His $APPL Position

“David Einhorn’s Q1 letter to investors is out, and he says that he got a big boost from the weakening yen, reports Bloomberg.

What’s more, he says Apple took a “step forward” and that he’s adding to his bet.

Einhorn’s hedge fund, Greenlight Capital, owned $1.5 million shares of Apple at the end of Q4 2012 and he was very public about desire to get the company to issue preferred stock (you can check out his presentation about it here).

He even sued Apple over the matter but dropped the lawsuit eventually.…”

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The EU Lowers Growth Estimates

“The euro-area economy will shrink more than previously estimated in 2013 as part of a two-year slump that has pushed up unemployment to a record, according to the European Commission.

Gross domestic product in the 17-nation currency bloc will fall 0.4 percent this year, compared with a February prediction of 0.3 percent, the commission said in a report issued in Brussels today. This follows a 0.6 percent contraction in 2012 and shows the region headed for its first ever back-to-back years of falling output….”

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Citi Puts Out a Report on Ten Technologies That Will Completely Change the Way We Do Business

“In a massive new research report, analysts at investment bank Citi take a close look at 10 technologies they say will disrupt the way we do business.

They’ve dipped into practically every sector you can think of: energy, entertainment, IT, manufacturing, and transportation among them.

Some of these technologies have been with us for awhile, but are poised to get better or cheaper.

Others have only recently surfaced, but will be ubiquitous in a matter of years.

This is what they say the future is going to look like.

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Fitch Warns About Bank Earnings for the Rest of 2013

“Is it possible that the great big bank stock rally is already done? Shortly before the closing bell on Tuesday came words of warning from Fitch Ratings that the U.S. banking sector’s improved results in the first quarter were going to difficult to sustain for the rest of 2013. We just recently highlighted some of the risks of this in our “Sell in May and Go Away” primer and blueprint for 2013 and this goes well beyond the bank sector risks. Fitch’s warnings go many steps further and the result is that unless bank stocks correct further then the share prices will be very hard to maintain…”

Some of the issues are very focused for investors. Fitch showed that overall revenues broadly fell for the large U.S. banks even though net income improved on a linked-quarter basis. Lower provision expenses and cost controls managed to mitigate poor revenue figures. While expected, Fitch also said that a decline in mortgage refinancing activities managed to helped bank earnings. Fitch did signal that it now expects mortgage revenues to decline throughout the banking sector in 2013 due to lower refinancing activities. Here were some additional points made….”

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Fitch Strips UK of Triple-A Rating, Austerity Debate Deepens

“Britain’s credit standing took a further blow on Friday when Fitch Ratings became the second major international agency to strip the country of its top-notch credit rating.

The move is an embarrassment for Britain’s Conservative-led government which promised to protect the country’s rating when it took power in 2010, and will heighten the debate about whether austerity is still the right approach.

Fitch trimmed the rating to AA-plus from AAA, citing a weaker economic and fiscal outlook. But it returned the outlook to “stable,” removing the threat of any further rating action, at least in the near term.

“The fiscal space to absorb further adverse economic and financial shocks is no longer consistent with a ‘AAA’ rating,” it said in a statement.

Economic stagnation has pushed the government’s deficit reduction program several years off track, leading critics to argue the government should focus less on the deficit and more on growth. Even the International Monetary Fund, once a key ally in the case for fiscal austerity, has urged Britain to consider slowing the pace of deficit cuts.

But although sterling fell in the immediate aftermath, analysts said the downgrade was likely to have limited impact on debt markets or the government’s economic policy.

“The downgrade only tells us what was already known: that fiscal consolidation has ground to a halt and that the growth outlook is poor,” said Rob Wood, UK economist at Berenberg Bank.

Moody’s was the first agency to downgrade Britain in February and Standard & Poor’s has said there is at least a one-in-three chance it will follow suit….”

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