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Wal-Mart's rating cut; Federated's upgraded

Chicago — Two major retailers, Wal-Mart Stores Inc. and Federated Department Stores Inc., saw JP Morgan retail analyst Shari Eberts change her investment ratings on their respective stocks.

Wal-Mart saw its rating downgraded to "long-term buy" from "buy", due to valuation.

"We continue to like Wal-Mart's long-term fundamental and strategic position in the retail sector and consider it a core long-term holding in the group," Eberts wrote in a research note. Wal-Mart hit the firm's target price of $58 a share.

Meanwhile, Eberts raised her rating on Federated Department Stores Inc. to long-term buy" from "market performer," saying the department store was poised for improved earnings in 2002. Federated has a 12-month price target of $48 a share.

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