Stock Upgrades: As World Cup Begins in Brazil, Time to Head Into Amazon

By Justin Sharon  JUN 11, 2014 9:23 AM

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

 


With all eyes on the Amazon this weekAmazon.com (NASDAQ:AMZN) today scores a well-timed broker boost. The online retail giant is in the news this morning, with Reuters reporting plans are afoot for a big local services push.
 
The head of Amazon, whose year began with a kidney stone crisis in Darwin's backyard, might like to know that scientists recently rediscovered a bat that they had hitherto thought went the way of the Dodo in 1890. The Dow Average (INDEXDJX:.DJI), which arrived on the scene later that same decade, continues flying high, although its valuation is now beginning to look a little batty. Shares rose to records after it was reported that the number of job openings reached peaks not seen since September 2007. That was the month that a University of Florida student attending a John Kerry event famously implored "Don't Tase me, bro!" Spectacularly bad advice, to judge by yesterday's stunning 5.54% surge in Taser (NASDAQ:TASR). An economics professor who evidently doesn't think much of his own profession scored a remarkable political upset, this as an Onion-esque Wall Street Journal front page said "Tyson Wins Bid Against Self" and Donald Sterling is suing himself. Fear in Las Vegas joined the self-loathing as Sin City's Sands (NYSE:LVS) suffered a rating reduction. All this was faintly surreal. Kafkaesque, even. Franz, to keep the Czechs from bouncing before his literary Metamorphosis, actually worked at an Italian insurance outfit in the Panic of 1907. For what it's worth, the world's biggest insurance outfit, American International Group (NYSE:AIG), fell as it announced controversial CEO Bob Besmosche is calling it quits.
 
A slow week in economics continues with no top-tier data due today, but H&R Block (NYSE:HRB) and Restoration Hardware (NYSE:RH) each release earnings.
 
Now let's analyze this morning's upgrades, a group encompassing cigarette an semiconductor stocks as well as our aforementioned Amazon.com.

(Also see: 12 Picks for an Investor's Dream Team at World Cup 2014)
 
Achillion Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ:ACHN): There is no stopping this analyst darling, which surged 47.57% on Monday and jumped another 83.29% yesterday. Today it gets raised to Outperform from Neutral at Robert W. Baird.
 
Amazon.com: Today's headline stock is currently adding to yesterday's 1.50% increase ahead of the opening bell. This, on a Conviction Buy-from-Buy boost by Goldman Sachs.
 
Angie's List (NASDAQ:ANGI): Wunderlich hoists the stock to Buy from Hold with a price objective of $15 amid improvement in the company's eCommerce arena.
 
ConocoPhillips (NYSE:COP) The energy giant is hoisted upgraded to Outperform from Perform at Howard Weil, whose target price gets taken up $90.
 
Entergy (NYSE:ETR): Shares are now Neutral from Sell at UBS.
 
Marvell Technology (NASDAQ:MRVL): Nomura moves MRVL to Buy from Neutral.
 
Molson Coors (NYSE:TAP): Keg party on tap? The brewing behemoth, Tuesday's top S&P 500 (INDEXSP:.INX) stock with a 5.36% advance, is today lifted an unusual 180 degrees (Buy from Underperform) by Bank of America Merrill Lynch.
 
Reynolds American (NYSE:RAI): The tobacco titan gets taken to Buy from Neutral at Bank of America Merrill.
 
Semiconductor Stocks: A busy Bank of America research department boosts both Micron (NASDAQ:MU) and SanDisk (NASDAQ:SNDK), each now Buy from Underperform.
 
Skullcandy (NASDAQ:SKUL): Piper Jaffray juices its recommendation on the headset maker to Neutral from Underweight.

Also see:

New Stock Coverage: Beware National Bank of Greece -- a Bull Bearing Gifts?

 
Stock Downgrades: Boeing Going Lower
No positions in stocks mentioned.

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