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Several high profile stocks are moving this morning based on upgrades. The three biggest upgrades this morning are on Dell (NASDAQ:DELL), Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT), and Amgen (NASDAQ:AMGN).

Robertson Stephens upgraded shares of Dell from a Market Perform rating to a buy. The analysts raised the price target on the stock from $26 to $35. Robbie Stephens believes Dell is seeing strong demand for PCs. DELL was about 75 cents higher in the pre-market trading.

ABN Amro upgraded shares of Softee to a buy from an add rating based upon the improving economic environment and information technology spending. Analysts said that sales of XP and Net products and services should gain momentum this year and through next year. The new price target on MSFT is $85, from $80. Shares of MSFT were $1.10 higher in the early session.

Lehman upgraded Amgen to a strong buy from a buy rating, arguing that Amgen is the most undervalued stock in the biotechnology sector based upon fundamentals. Lehman raised its price target on shares from $79 to $87. Lehman also highlighted Genentech (NYSE:DNA) and IDEC Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ:IDPH) as top picks in the biotech sector and reiterated its strong buy ratings on several small cap issues in the sector as well. Shares of Amgen were higher by $1.58 this morning.

Separately, UBS Warburg upgraded Gilead Sciences (NASDAQ:GILD) to a buy rating based upon its valuation, but J.P. Morgan Chase lowered its rating on Imclone Systems (NASDAQ:IMCL). Shares of IMCL are lower by more than $8 on the downgrade. (More on IMCL in today's Market Monitor.)

The positive price action in the early going among big cap tech stocks has the Nasdaq-100 (NDX) futures higher by about 17 points, although the contract was higher earlier. Dow Jones Industrial Average (INDU) and S&P 500 (SPX) futures are slightly lower this morning.

Bond yields are lower across the board this morning. The benchmark 10-year Yield (TNX) traded at 5.107 percent. The 10-year contract (TY02H) was higher to 104.305.

Eric Utley
Option Investor

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