• Novellus (NASDAQ:NVLS) CEO Rick Hill provided optimistic outlooks for the current quarter and next. He narrowed the gain in bookings to an expected 40-55% rise from 20-50%, the range of shipments to $150 -$170 million from $140-$170 million, with earnings expected to range between a nine cent loss and breakeven, up from a 15 cent loss and breakeven

• Citigroup (NYSE:C) analysts lowered their rating on Abercrombie and Fitch (NYSE:ANF) to “sell” from “hold” and cut the price target to $24 from $33

• Costco (NASDAQ:COST) received an upgrade from JP Morgan (NYSE:JPM)

• H&R Block (NYSE:HRB) reported fiscal first quarter loss from continuing operations of 39 cents a share, a bit worse than the Zacks expectations of a 37 cent loss, as revenues grew 1.3% to $275.5 million, off estimates of $281 million. The firm, however, maintained full year projections of $1.60-$1.80

• Cooper Companies (NYSE:COO) reported third quarter earnings of 54 cents a share ex-items, missing Zacks estimates of 62 cents a share, but up from last year’s 39 cents, as sales gained to $285 million, though slightly off estimates of $287 million

• S&P upped ratings on Constellation Brands (NYSE:STZ) too BB from BB-, with outlook positive

• Collective Brands (NYSE:PSS) reported a fiscal second quarter earnings miss, with results of 29 cents a share, in line with Zacks projections, as revenues fell 8.3% to $836.3 million, missing estimates of $850 million

• FBR Capital raised its target for WW Grainger (NYSE:GWW) to $104 from $93, reiterating its “outperform” expectations

• Elan (NYSE:ELN) faced a Federal court ruling that its Johnson & Johnson (NYSE:JNJ) deal for multiple sclerosis drug Tysabri violates a joint marketing deal with Biogen Idec (NASDAQ:BIIB)

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