General Motors Shares Shoot Up After Morgan Stanley Upgrade

By Tomi KilgoreMarketsMarketWatch Pulse

Shares of General Motor Co. shot up 3.4% in morning trade Monday, after the automaker was upgraded at Morgan Stanley, which cited expectations that GM can remain relevant and profitable for longer than investors think. Analyst Adam Jones raised his rating to overweight from equal weight, and boosted his stock price target to $37--16% above current levels--from $29. Jones said he believes investors are underestimating how long the current "peak auto" thesis can last and the resulting related levels of mix and profitability. After a "very significant" second-quarter earnings beat, Jones said he believes earnings can be flat the next two years. "If that happens, the market will likely be positively surprised." The stock has lost 6% year to date, while rival Ford Motor Co. shares have shed 13% and the S&P 500 has gained 5.2%.

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