US STOCKS-S&P, Nasdaq gain on upgrades, debt woes weigh on Dow

* Home Depot, Exxon and Disney rise after broker upgrades

* Worries over euro zone sovereign debt weigh

* Hasbro, CVS Caremark rally after results

* Indexes: Dow down 0.1, S&P up 0.3 pct, Nasdaq up 0.4 pct

* For up-to-the-minute market news, click [STXNEWS/US]

(Updates to early afternoon)

By Ryan Vlastelica

NEW YORK, Feb 8 (BestGrowthStock) – The S&P 500 and Nasdaq edged
higher on Monday as several bellwethers rose on brokerage
upgrades and positive comments about the economy, but worries
about euro zone sovereign debt problems limited gains.

Worries about Greece’s financial problems and other
fiscally fragile euro zone countries has dragged Wall Street
about 7 percent lower since mid-January. For details, see

But brokerage upgrades lifted shares of Dow components Home
Depot Inc (HD.N: ), Walt Disney Co (DIS.N: ) and Exxon Mobil Corp
(XOM.N: ), though the industrial average drifted 0.1 percent
lower. [RESF/US]

In its upgrade of Home Depot, Morgan Stanley said it was
optimistic about the home improvement chain’s prospects as the
housing market begins to recover. [ID:nSGE6170JQ]

JPMorgan cited improving economic conditions in its upgrade
of Disney, but said the entertainment company’s earnings
recovery would lag its peer group.

Over the weekend, European finance ministers tried to
assure their counterparts in the Group of Seven industrialized
nations that the euro zone’s debt crisis is under control.

“There’s a tug-of-war in the markets between the good news
of the upgrades and strong earnings, and the bad news of the
European debt,” said John Praveen, chief investment strategist
at Prudential International Investments Advisers LLC in Newark,
New Jersey.

“The macro picture for the United States is improving, and
if we didn’t have the debt issue, the markets would be rallying
today on all the good news.”

The Dow Jones industrial average (.DJI: ) fell 7.55 points,
or 0.1 percent, to 10,004.98. The Standard & Poor’s 500 Index
(.SPX: ) gained 2.70 points, or 0.25 percent, to 1,068.89. The
Nasdaq Composite Index (.IXIC: ) was up 8.34 points, or 0.39
percent, to 2,149.47.

Financial stocks came under pressure. JPMorgan Chase & Co
(JPM.N: ) fell 1.1 percent to $37.89 and was one of the Dow’s top
drags, while Exxon and Home Depot were the two top boosts. Walt
Disney was up 1.2 percent to $29.89, Exxon rose 1.1 percent to
$65.07 and Home Depot climbed 3.1 percent to $28.84.

Lifting the Nasdaq was Inc (AMZN.O: ), which
Collins Stewart upgraded on a recent decline in the shares. The
stock rose 1.5 percent to $119.18. [ID:nN08152515]

Other gainers included Hasbro Inc (HAS.N: ) and CVS Caremark
Corp (CVS.N: ), both of which rallied after reporting
stronger-than-expected fourth-quarter results. [ID:nN08183660]
and [ID:nN08203465]

Hasbro also said it expects its revenue and profit to rise
in 2010, sending its shares up 14 percent to $34.96. CVS rose
6.3 percent at $33.02.

On the downside, Nasdaq OMX Group Inc (NDAQ.O: ) fell 3.5
percent to $18.15 after it reported fourth-quarter earnings and
sales that fell from the prior year. [ID:nN08184802]

Stock Report

For a graphic of global sovereign credit default swaps,
(Editing by Kenneth Barry)

US STOCKS-S&P, Nasdaq gain on upgrades, debt woes weigh on Dow