Although we don't believe in timing the market or panicking over market movements, we do like to keep an eye on big changes -- just in case they're material to our investing thesis.

What: Shares of for-profit educator American Public Education (Nasdaq: APEI) jumped as much as 10% in intraday trading today after the stock was upgraded by a Wall Street analyst.

So what: RBC Capital Markets analyst Robert Wetenhall Jr. boosted his view on the stock from "sector perform" to "outperform." The company operates American Military University -- an online postsecondary school that focuses on the military -- and Wetenhall thinks enrollment could get a boost if soldiers start coming home earlier than expected from Iraq and Afghanistan.

Now what: The upgrade comes amid broader scrutiny of the industry as the government bears down on enrollment practices. Washington Post Co.'s (NYSE: WPO) Kaplan Higher Education unit announced late yesterday that it will be cutting 5% of its workforce on enrollment concerns. That follows a similar move by Apollo Group (Nasdaq: APOL) last month. Even as Wetenhall upgraded American Public Education, he slapped a downgrade on Capella Education (Nasdaq: CPLA).

Could American Public Education be the equity oasis in a troubled sector? One voice from Wall Street does not an investment thesis make, but it certainly can be a good reason to take a closer look at a stock.

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Fool contributor Matt Koppenheffer does not own shares of any of the companies mentioned. You can check out what Matt is keeping an eye on by visiting his CAPS portfolio, or you can follow Matt on Twitter @KoppTheFool or on his RSS feed. The Fool's disclosure policy assures you no Wookiees were harmed in the making of this article.