S&P UPGRADES: Taking a rosier view on Kohl’s Corp., Standard & Poor’s raised its outlook on the Menomonee Falls, Wis.-based retailer to positive from stable and reaffirmed its "A-minus" corporate credit rating. The firm’s $133 million 364-dayrevolving credit facility maturing in July and its $532 million revolving credit facility due in 2007 were also assigned "A-minus" ratings. "The outlook anticipates that Kohl’s business and financial risk profiles will improve, given strong growth prospects for the company through store expansion and superior execution," said fixed-income analyst Diane Shand in a statement. S&P also raised its long-term debt rating on TJX Cos. to "A" from "A-minus," citing consistently good operating performance, strong market position and the expectation that its conservative management approach will be maintained as the firm’s growth spurt continues. The short-term rating was also brought up to "A-1" from "A-2" while the off-pricer’s credit outlook remained stable.

REDBOOK HONORS: First Lady Laura Bush delivered the keynote address at Redbook’s fifth annual "Mothers & Shakers" awards luncheon Thursday at Lincoln Center’s Avery Fisher Hall. Bush, dressed in a lavender suit, told the audience she was delighted to be among so many "friends and friendly faces" who share the common goal of bettering America. "The achievements today are diverse, but what they have in common is humanity," said the First Lady, before citing the President’s plea for Americans to volunteer more. The honorees included Tyra Banks, for working to boost pre-teens’ self-esteem; Maria Cuomo Cole, for aiding the homeless; The Dixie Chicks, for helping save endangered species and protecting the environment; Angie Harmon, for fighting video voyeurism; Marlee Matlin, for working to keep the nation’s blood supply full, and Laura San Giacomo, for raising awareness about classroom diversity. Jayne Jamison, vice president and publisher of Redbook, which is celebrating its centennial, plugged the magazine’s new, updated look: "We look pretty good for 100, don’t you think?"

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