Morgan Stanley surged after Macquarie's David Konrad initiated coverage of the broker with an "outperform" rating and a price target of $30 per share.
CA traded higher after RBC raised its price target on the company to $30 from $26 per share.
Abercrombie & Fitch was higher after analyst at Bank of America Merrill Lynch said the worst of the teen retailer's first quarter problems were temporary. BofA ML analyst upgraded shares of ANF to "buy" and raised his price target to $60 per share.
The Dow transportation index traded above its 50-day moving average, with companies such as United Continental and Ryder System sharply higher.
Among Dow components, Cisco, Boeing and American Express hit new 52-week highs. Meanwhile, AT&T and miners including Cliffs Natural and Newmont Mining were in the red.
—By CNBC's Lori Spechler
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