Top Retail and Apparel Analyst Upgrades and Downgrades (ANF, ARO, AEO, GPS, GNC, GRPN, HBI, LTD, ROST, UA, URBN)

This week should bring a lot of news from same-store sales for the retail and apparel sector. That makes it interesting that there are so many analyst calls in the space ahead of the news. We have spotted many key research calls from Wall St. for upgrades, downgrades and initiations. These by and large are not included in our wider coverage of the full list of the top daily analyst upgrades and downgrades this morning.

Abercrombie & Fitch (NYSE: ANF) started as Underweight with $44 target at Barclays.

Aeropostale Inc. (NYSE: ARO) started as Equal Weight at Barclays.

American Eagle (NYSE: AEO) started as Overweight with $25 target at Barclays.

Gap Inc. (NYSE: GPS) started as Overweight with $45 target at Barclays.

GNC Holdings Inc. (NYSE: GNC) raised to Buy with $50 price target at Deutsche Bank.

Groupon Inc. (NASDAQ: GRPN) is generally deemed Internet or social media, but all it really does is offer daily deals and now offers payment processing to merchants. It was included in a broad Internet and interactive media call at UBS, with a Sell rating and $44.40 price target.

Hanesbrands Inc. (NYSE: HBI) raised to Overweight from Equal Weight at Barclays.

Limited Brands Inc. (NYSE: LTD) started as Overweight at Barclays.

Ross Stores Inc. (NASDAQ: ROST) was included in a UBS list of stocks that the firm believes has 25% upside or more.

Under Armour (NYSE: UA) started as Overweight with $60 target at Barclays.

Urban Outfitters Inc. (NASDAQ: URBN) started as Overweight with $50 target at Barclays.

Barclays did include other names in the research initiations today, but some were screened out due to volume being light or because they were only given Equal Weight ratings.

If you are curious what Easter added to the economy from retail and beyond, that was projected at $17.2 billion. We think it is more because so many items are not counted in that report.