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Zacks Broker Upgrade Highlights: U.S. Steel, CONSOL, ITT Corporation and Adobe Systems announces the list of stocks featured in the Broker Upgrades. Every week, Zacks editor Mark Vickery updates the latest news and events impacting stocks and the financial markets. Stocks recently featured in the Broker Upgrades include: U.S. Steel (NYSE: X), CONSOL (NYSE: CNX), ITT Corporation (NYSE: ITT) and Adobe Systems (Nasdaq: ADBE).

Here are highlights from Thursdays Broker Upgrades:

U.S. Steel Forges Ahead

Buoyed by high demand in the developing world and as commodity-based stocks continue to outperform, U.S. Steel (NYSE: X) sees an impressive rise in its Average Broker Recommendation (ABR), up 0.11 to 1.94 overall. Though the stock has been trading down this Thursday, macro trends favor the steel producing behemoth. We also note a Citigroup analyst has downgraded X to a Hold today, but in doing so kept his comments upbeat, nonetheless.

CONSOL Yielding Results

Large-cap U.S. coal producer CONSOL (NYSE: CNX) has also shown a notable improvement in ABR today, moving from 2.13 to 2.21. Another commodity-based company displays its present strength among analysts, even though CONSOL is also down on the day so far.

ITT Seems to Have It

With a favorable outlook to next weeks expected earnings report, ITT Corporations (NYSE: ITT) ABR today has jumped 0.08 to 1.98. ITT is trading a bit lower today, as well, but we note once again that macro-trends in ITTs case, its businesses in controlling the flow of water, a vital commodity are serving commodity-based firms well, at least in the eyes of the brokers.

Building Up with Adobe

Amid various discussions about why Apple would be wise to buy out Adobe Systems (Nasdaq: ADBE) at some point in the near future, as well as a roll-out of its new online media player, Adobe is another beneficiary of a strong ABR today: up 0.06 to go from 1.98 to 2.04. Once again we note a roughly 1% pullback in todays trading price, but considerations of ADBEs new media player seem to be favorable among brokerage firms, at least at this early stage.

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The performance of the Zacks Rank portfolios shown above for annual and year-to-date periods are the linked monthly total returns (price changes + dividends) of equal weighted hypothetical portfolios, consisting of those stocks with the indicated Zacks Rank, assuming monthly rebalancing and zero transaction costs. These are not the returns of actual portfolios. The hypothetical portfolios were created at the beginning of each month from Jan 1988 forward based on the values of the Zacks Rank available to Zacks' clients before the beginning of each month. The portfolios created monthly from 1988 through September 2006 exclude ADRS and are comprised of stocks that have the indicated Zacks Rank and were covered by at least two analysts at the time of the stocks inclusion in the portfolio. Starting in October 2006 and going forward, the portfolios are comprised of all stocks with the indicated Zacks Rank and do not exclude ADRs, which is more reflective of the list of stocks that customers will find on the Zacks web sites. 2007 returns are for the period of Jan 1 Jun 30, 2007. These performance numbers have been audited from 1995 through 2003 by Autschuler Melovan, a division of American Express Financial.

Terry Ruffolo
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