Stock Upgrades: No Matter Whom Tiger Dates, Accenture Is Out of the Woods

By Justin Sharon  APR 25, 2014 9:29 AM

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

 


Accenture (NYSE:ACN) dropped Tiger Woods like a hot potato after his sex scandal broke. (Taglines such as "Some watch. Some wait. Some pounce. Go on. Be a Tiger." didn't read quite as intended after his affairs were revealed.) Indeed, the consulting company has always been intimately acquainted with controversy. Its antecedent accounting firm, Arthur Andersen, will always be indelibly associated with the Enron scandal. Today, however, Accenture -- which was hired to fix the Obamacare website fiasco -- is set for a happier time of it after scoring a broker boost.
 
Take Your Child to Work Day -- not to be confused with Workday (NYSE:WDAY), which fell 5.28% -- proved pretty profitable for the tiny tots. Kids left the sandbox and got to learn all about sandbag, Sandberg, and SanDisk (NASDAQ:SNDK). Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL), which long ago turned underpromising and overdelivering into an art form on Wall Street, advanced 8.20%. Facebook's (NASDAQ:FB) Chief Operating Officer told FOX Business Network's Maria Bartiromo, "We're not seeing any trends we're worried about." (Investors, who sent shares off 0.80% after an earlier increase of approximately 4%, clearly begged to differ.) And the data storage stock, up 0.64%, hit the highest level in its 19 years as a public company. In analyst action, Scotts Miracle-Gro (NYSE:SMG) -- whose CEO was singing the praises of pot way before Wall Street's current army of bandwagon-jumpers -- gained 2.94% on a broker boost.
 
Today in economics, the University of Michigan's final figure for April consumer confidence is expected to show a slight uptick at 9:55 a.m. EDT. On the corporate front, Ford (NYSE:F), Moody's (NYSE:MCO), and Whirlpool (NYSE:WHR) all released results earlier.
 
Now let's turn to this morning's analyst upgrades, a group that encompasses a Chinese Internet outfit and French cosmetics company, as well as our aforementioned Accenture.

Accenture: Today's headline upgrade is now Outperform from Neutral at Credit Suisse.
 
Baidu.com (NASDAQ:BIDU): The Chinese Web portal is surging 5.62% before the bell after being boosted to Buy from Hold at Deutsche Bank.
 
Celgene (NASDAQ:CELG): Piper Jaffray juices its rating to Overweight from Neutral.
 
DeVry Education (NYSE:DV): The stock gets upgraded to Overweight from Neutral, again at Piper.
 
Gigamon (NYSE:GIMO): Shares are now Strong Buy from Buy at Needham.
 
IPC: The Hospitalist (NASDAQ:IPCM): Wells Fargo hoists the stock to Outperform from Market Perform.
 
L'Oreal (OTCMKTS:LRLCY): The cosmetics company gets a Buy-from-Hold boost by Berenberg.
 
Maxim Integrated (NASDAQ:MXIM): MXIM is moved to Buy from Neutral at Citigroup.
 
NetScout Systems (NASDAQ:NTCT): Impressed with the company's enterprise business, Wunderlich raises its rating to Buy from Hold. Its target price is also taken up, to $46 from $35.
 
RTI Surgical (NASDAQ:RTIX): Shares get upgraded to Buy from Hold at Canaccord Genuity.
 
Selective Insurance (NASDAQ:SIGI): Bank of America Merrill Lynch lifts its investment assessment to Buy from Neutral.
 
Time Warner Cable (NYSE:TWC): TWC is taken to Buy from Hold at Pivotal Research. The price objective, previously $135, increases to $175.
 
Wells Fargo (NYSE:WFC): The stock is raised to Outperform from Perform with a target of $55 at BMO Capital.

Also see:

New Stock Coverage: BP, Once Public Enemy Number One, No Longer Sleeps With the Fishes

Stock Downgrades: Amazon Is Sleepless in Seattle
No positions in stocks mentioned.

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