Stock Upgrades: Google Makes Moscow Happy

By Justin Sharon  JUL 18, 2014 9:24 AM

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

 


These are difficult days for Uncle Sam's relationship with Mother Russia but Sergey Mikhaylovich Brin, born in Détente-era Moscow before sensibly decamping for Silicon Valley, will shortly enhance his multibillion-dollar bank balance even further. The Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) co-founder is seeing his stock gain 2.42% before the bell after annual revenue rose 13.1% to beat Street expectations.
 
Ironic, on a day Sherwin-Williams (NYSE:SHW) surged 4.57% to a historic high in topping the entire S&P 500 (INDEXSP:.INX), but yesterday was actually the first time since April that action in the index wasn't akin to watching paint dry. Mind you, investors would have been better off with boring rather than the unbridled excitement that yesterday saw the benchmark bourse post its first 1%-plus move since Eliot's "cruelest month." As for the Dow (INDEXDJX:.DJI), it dived by triple digits as President Putin endured the pain of additional sanctions. (We, the American investor, felt his pain.) Still, Vlad The Impaler's predecessors fared even worse. Mikhail Gorbachev, who was Nokia (NYSE:NOK) brick cool way before the BRICs were born suffered as that stock nosedived 1.73% after Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) wielded the ax. And the Pizza Hut-endorsing politician could only look on aghast as its owner Yum Brands (NYSE:YUM) slumped 6.89%. Meanwhile, legendary lush Boris Yeltsin lost his soul mate Elaine Stritch, an incomparable lady who lunched with "Another brilliant zinger, Another vodka stinger." BP Plc (NYSE:BP) was sent to Siberia -- wayward Tony Hayward knows the feeling -- tumbling an FTSE 100 (INDEXFTSE:UKX)-worst 2.70% on its inauspicious one-third ownership of Russia's OAO Rosneft. Mattel (NASDAQ:MAT) slumped 6.58% as American Barbie sales imploded for an eighth straight quarter. Maybe the mullahs were on to something. Guinness owner Diageo (NYSE:DEO) dropped 1.33% on a downgrade and on news that scientists have created a mutant worm that can't get drunk.
 
Today in economics, consumer confidence comes out at 9.55 a.m. EDT and leading indicators at 10:00 a.m. On the corporate front, a frenetic first full week for Q2 earnings concludes with Bank of NY Mellon (NYSE:BNY), Ericsson (NASDAQ:ERIC), General Electric (NYSE:GE), Honeywell (NYSE:HON), and Kansas City Southern (NYSE:KSU) all releasing results.
 
Now let's analyze this morning's research recommendations, a group encompassing an iconic English trench coat company as well as our aforementioned Google.

América Móvil (NYSE:AMX): Barclays boosts the telecom titan to Equal Weight from Underweight. Its price objective, previously $20.50, is now $24.
 
American Homes 4 Rent (NYSE:AMH): Shares get raised to Strong Buy from Outperform at Raymond James.
 
Andersons (NASDAQ:ANDE): The company gets hoisted to Buy from Hold at BB&T Capital.
 
Brunswick (NYSE:BC): B. Riley boosts the boating stock to Buy from Neutral.
 
Burberry (OTCMKTS:BURBY): The British raincoat company is now Outperform from Neutral by BNP Paribas.
 
Google: Today's headline stock sees its price objective boosted by both BMO Capital ($600 from $525) and Topeka Capital ($660 from $657), although in each case the overall investment opinion remains unchanged.
 
Kayne Anderson Energy (NYSE:KED): Shares get upgraded to Buy from Hold with a $57 target price at Stifel, which cites a plump present yield of 6.4% among reasons for its increased optimism.
 
Plexus (NASDAQ:PLXS): Longbow lifts the stock to Buy from Neutral.
 
Sandy Spring Bancorp (NASDAQ:SASR): The equity is increased to Outperform from Neutral at Robert W. Baird.
 
Also see:

New Stock Coverage: Sushi Bar Owner Kona Grill Can Swim With the Sharks
 
Stock Downgrades: Don't Kid Yourself, Mattel Has a Midlife Crisis With 55-Year-Old Barbie
No positions in stocks mentioned.

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