Stock Upgrades: Stock Up on Chili's Owner Brinker This First Day of Winter

By Justin Sharon  DEC 21, 2012 9:24 AM

Wall Street ratings agencies set the tone for today's stock market.


MINYANVILLE ORIGINAL Stocks rose on the last day of fall as President Obama — bolstered by the fact he had Time on his side even as the end of the world approached — appeared to best John Boehner in fiscal cliff negotiations. Alas Bed Bath & Beyond (BBBY), which slumped 6.50% to a new low in posting the S&P 500's (^GSPC) poorest performance, is getting no REM sleep, notwithstanding that the Mayans were wrong with their dire prediction.
The analyst who prophetically downgraded Research In Motion (RIMM) yesterday was much more on the money than our pre-Columbian prognosticators, since that stock is slumping 13.31% before the opening bell. And even as the Elves and Dwarfs of The Hobbit do boffo box office business, no one was shorting the Big and Tall guys of Casual Male Retail Group (DXLG), which gained 6.12%.
This morning in economics, analysts expect the University of Michigan’s final figure for December consumer confidence to come in essentially unchanged at 9:55 a.m. Eastern. In earnings action Quanex Building Products (NX) and Walgreen (WAG) are due to report results.
Access Midstream Partners (ACMP): The limited partnership is lifted to Outperform from Market Perform with Wells Fargo, which cites valuation and the company’s distribution growth.
Ameren (AEE): Morgan Stanley moves the stock to Overweight from Equal-Weight.
Bancolombia (CIB): Shares get upgraded to Neutral from Underweight at JP Morgan.
Brinker International (NYSE:EAT): The owner of Chili’s Grill & Bar gets a Buy-from-Neutral boost at Sterne Agee, which says its channel checks indicate strong performance for new menu items. Its price objective is $36.
Infineon Technologies (PINK: IFNNY) Shares are moved to Overweight from Neutral at JPMorgan.

(See also: Stock Downgrades: Herbalife Acting Like Life Ends Today and New Stock Coverage: TripAdvisor Stopped in Its Tracks.)
No positions in stocks mentioned.

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