Stock Upgrades: Carnival Goes From Waiving the Rules to Ruling the Waves

By Justin Sharon  JAN 13, 2014 9:23 AM

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

 


US markets cooled off, with the Dow (INDEXDJX:.DJI) ending down on the first full trading week of 2014 as America shivered through a cold snap. (The Greatest Generation, having suffered through one February day in 1934 when the Central Park low was minus 15 degrees — this amid 21.7% unemployment during the depths of the Depression — could be forgiven for wondering what all the whining was about. By contrast, a 6.7% jobless rate and relatively balmy four degrees in New York last week was a piece of cake.) Indeed, the Big Chill generation bears much of the blame for our current anemic job growth. In the words of Steven F. Hipple, economist at the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, “Older people” — that would be you, baby boomers — “are hanging on in the workforce longer.” Thus the cohort weaned on Timothy Leary’s “Turn on, tune in, drop out” is resolutely refusing to drop out of the labor force. In the current climate, it was somehow fitting that Five Below (NASDAQ:FIVE) slumped 7.29. Among other equities on the move, Neurocrine Biosciences (NASDAQ:NBIX) surged 98.45% on favorable phase II data to treat tardive dyskinesia, a condition characterized by repetitive movements such as tongue protrusion. An ailment whose sufferers include Steve Ballmer, even before his Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) tumbled another 2.4%. A new study showed most members of Congress are millionaires. Impressive, but Capitol Hill is still no Norway. Despite not needing to work, on Epiphany Day of January 6 the Senate confirmed Janet Yellen as the first female to head the Fed. In light of her gender, it’s a little ironic that the vote took place on the day set aside to honor the Three Wise Men. (That would be these ones. Most assuredly not those ones, for whom time — and indeed Time — has not been at all kind).
 
There aren’t any top-tier economic announcements to move US stock markets today. On the earnings front, agribusiness outfit Limoneira (NASDAQ:LMNR) missed Wall Street’s earnings expectations when it released results earlier this morning.
 
Autodesk (NASDAQ:ADSK): Morgan Stanley moves the stock to Overweight from Equal Weight.
 
Carnival Corporation (NYSE:CCL): Carnival Corporation endured an awful 2013, but there is better news for its stock today as it is taken to Neutral from Reduce at SunTrust.
 
Diana Shipping (NYSE:DSX): Deutsche Bank hoists the stock to Buy from Hold.
 
Estée Lauder (NYSE:EL): The cosmetics company gets a Buy-from-Hold boost, also at Deutsche.
 
Finish Line (NASDAQ:FINL): Shares are now Buy from Neutral at Sterne Agee.
 
Garmin (NASDAQ:GRMN): Citing a series of product refreshes among other favorable factors, Oppenheimer increases its investment assessment to Outperform from Perform. Its price objective is $58.
 
HomeAway (NASDAQ:AWAY): Barclays raises its rating to Overweight from Equal Weight.
 
Jacobs Engineering (NYSE:JEC): JEC is juiced to Buy from Neutral at UBS.
 
Life Time Fitness (NYSE:LTM): KeyBanc lifts the stock to Buy from Hold.
 
Macy’s (NYSE:M): More good news for Macy’s stock, which is coming off a stellar week. Today it is moved to Outperform from Neutral at Macquarie.
 
Marriott (NASDAQ:MAR): The accommodation outfit is now Overweight from Neutral at JPMorgan.
 
MGM Resorts (NYSE:MGM): Bank of America-Merrill Lynch lifts the casino company to Buy from Neutral. Shares, on a tear of late, are accordingly advancing further ahead of today’s opening bell.
 
Pinnacle West (NYSE:PNW): Shares get upgraded to Neutral from Sell at Goldman Sachs.
 
Red Hat (NYSE:RHT): Morgan Stanley moves the stock to Overweight from Equal Weight.
 
Strategic Hotels & Resorts (NYSE:BEE): Shares get an unusual 180 degree (Buy from Underperform) increase at Bank of America-Merrill.
 
UBS AG (NYSE:UBS): Bank of America-Merrill Lynch lifts its fellow financial firm to Buy from Neutral.
 
Visa (NYSE:V): Visa, whose stock was added to the Dow last year, is now Buy from Neutral at Citigroup.

See also:

New Stock Coverage: IBM, Only Dow Loser Last Year, Still Suffering Big Blues

Stock Downgrades: A Decade on From Its 'Wardrobe Malfunction,' TiVo Is an Emperor Without Clothes
No positions in stocks mentioned.

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