Stock Upgrades: Electronic Arts Is Out of the Woods

By Justin Sharon  OCT 30, 2013 9:11 AM

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

 


One year to the day after the New York Stock Exchange was barricaded by sandbags, Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL), which knows all about those, scored a broker boost. Yet its stock still tumbled 2.49%, providing redundant proof that history never repeats exactly. There was, however, history aplenty in the air yesterday, as the S&P 500 Index (INDEXSP:.INX) attained another all-time best. Ironically, its single best performer was Xylem (NYSE:XY), so instrumental to Superstorm Sandy clean-up efforts. It surged 12.44%, and gets upgraded this morning. Nasdaq (INDEXNASDAQ:.IXIC), clearly taking its cue from the land of the matador, opted for a 46-minute midday siesta. You still can’t kill its bull market though; the tech-heavy bourse rose for a fifth straight session to stand at levels not seen since September 2000. Sweet treat Hershey (NYSE:HSY) gained 0.76% to hit a historic high ahead of Halloween. This as Pacific Ethanol (NASDAQ:PEIX) jumped 2.62%. Given that fully 40% of our corn crop goes to make ethanol, it’s a wonder the confectionery company has any left over to make its Candy Corn Kisses.
 
This afternoon, the Federal Open Market Committee concludes its two-day policy meeting. Hump Day of another busy quarterly earnings week is here, with Allstate (NYSE:ALL), Barclays (NYSE:BCS), Comcast (NASDAQ:CMCSA), Expedia (NASDAQ:EXPE), Facebook (NASDAQ:FB), General Motors (NYSE:GM), Kraft Foods (NASDAQ:KRFT), Metlife (NYSE:MET), Sprint (NYSE:S), Starbucks (NASDAQ:SBUX), and Visa (NYSE:V) all due to release results.
 
Agree Realty (NYSE:ADC): The property manager is increased to Outperform from Market Perform at Raymond James.
 
Baidu.com (NASDAQ:BIDU): Brean Capital and Jefferies both boost the Chinese Internet outfit to Buy from Hold, the latter with a relatively aggressive price objective of $222.
 
BP Plc (NYSE:BP): Its 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill fiasco an increasingly distant memory, shares rose 4.99% yesterday in their single best session since January 2011. Today the stock is showing further strength in London on an après-earnings upgrade to Buy from Hold at Société Générale.
 
Electronic Arts (NASDAQ:EA): The video game titan, which just jettisoned Tiger Woods, is today taken to Strong Buy from Hold at Needham. Its stock, already up 102.60% in the past 12 months, is adding on another 7.75% as we speak.
 
Facebook (NASDAQ:FB): BTIG Research raises its recommendation on the social networking name, which releases its quarterly earnings today, to Buy from Neutral with a $68 price objective. Shares are, accordingly, trading higher this morning.
 
First Busey Corporation (NASDAQ:BUSE): BUSE is boosted to Outperform from Market Perform at FBR Capital, whose price objective increases to $6.25 from $5.50 on account of the company’s impressive loan growth.
 
LSI Logic (NASDAQ:LSI): Shares are moved to Overweight from Equal-Weight at Morgan Stanley.
 
Masco (NYSE:MAS): More good news for the stock, which jumped 2.63% yesterday. This morning Raymond James juices its rating to Market Perform from Underperform.
 
MeadWestvaco (NYSE:MWV): The packaging powerhouse, which plunged 9.39% yesterday, is upgraded to Buy from Outperform at Crédit Agricole.
 
Nike (NYSE:NKE): NKE is now Overweight from Equal-Weight at Morgan Stanley.
 
Thomson Reuters (NYSE:TRI): The financial media giant, fresh from announcing 3,000 layoffs, is lifted to Outperform from Sector Perform at RBC Capital. Its target price, previously $35, increases to $40 amid better-than-expected operating results.
 
Xylem (NYSE:XY): Shares, trading at post spin-off peaks, are now Neutral from Underperform at DA Davidson.

(See also: Stock Downgrades: US Steel Is No Superman and New Stock Coverage: Can Dick’s Sporting Goods Score Big?)
No positions in stocks mentioned.

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