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Stock Upgrades: Michael Kors Makes a Killing

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

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If you were Cuban - as opposed to Cuban - you likely had a terrific Tuesday, as the ghost of communist icon Che Guevara took posthumous revenge on capitalism ahead of this, the 46th anniversary of his assassination. The Marxist revolutionary famously adorns dorm rooms across the country, so a penny for his thoughts as Facebook (NASDAQ:FB), founded in a dorm at Harvard, slid 6.68% as the Nasdaq (INDEXNASDAQ:.IXIC) endured an especially tough time of it. The proximate cause for the angst in equities was, of course, our continued governmental gridlock. This as debt-ridden Japan joined the International Monetary Fund - mostly funded by our tax dollars - and China, which just fired a Communist Party official for spending $260,000 on a wedding, in lecturing us on the importance of living within our means. Which, coming from that unholy trinity, really is a bit rich. (For what it was worth - not much actually - Beijing matchmaking behemoth Jiayuan.com (NASDAQ:DATE) responded to the matrimonial mayhem by tumbling 10.77%.) All this and hipsters, too? Brooklyn, already the trendiest place in America, today gets yet more good news. Admittedly, the demographics of their Girls, aged by the recent addition of Albania's Blerta, are not what they were, but as its Old Gray Lady becomes Fed head, New York's most populous borough is laughing all the way to the bank.

Today at 2:00 p.m. Eastern, we will get meeting minutes to the Fed's much-debated September 17-18 policy confab, at which it unexpectedly opted to keep the monetary spigot intact. In corporate earnings action, Costco (NASDAQ:COST), Del Frisco's Restaurant Group (NASDAQ:DFRG), Family Dollar (NYSE:FDO), and Fastenal (NASDAQ:FAST) are all due to release results.

Baidu Inc. (NASDAQ:BIDU): Maxim moves the Chinese Internet outfit to Hold from Sell.

Calamos Asset Management (NASDAQ:CLMS): Shares get upgraded to Perform from Underperform at Keefe Bruyette.

Cubist Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ:CBST): Mizuho moves the stock to Buy from Neutral with a new target price of $77 as it expects Food and Drug Administration approval of tedizolid toward mid-2014.

EOG Resources (NYSE:EOG): The independent oil and gas outfit is now Outperform from Neutral at Credit Suisse. Its price objective, previously $175, increases to $210.

Halliburton (NYSE:HAL): Raymond James raises the oil services firm to Outperform from Market Perform.

Masco (NYSE:MAS): MAS is moved to Neutral from Underweight at JPMorgan.

McKesson Corp. (NYSE:MCK): Raymond James raises its recommendation to Outperform from Market Perform.

Michael Kors Holdings Ltd (NYSE:KORS): Citing a "staggering increase in mindshare" at the fashion firm, Piper Jaffray juices its rating to Overweight from Neutral. The stock, already up an impressive 32.98% over the past year, is gaining again ahead of the open as a result of the analyst's upbeat action.

Owens Corning (NYSE:OC): JPMorgan increases OC to Overweight from Neutral.

TD Ameritrade (NYSE:AMTD): AMTD is taken to Perform from Underperform at Keefe Bruyette, which also boosts its target price by $3 to $27.

Teekay Shipping (NYSE:TK): The tanker stock is hoisted to Overweight from Equal Weight by Barclays. Its price objective, previously $35, is now $56.

(See also: Stock Downgrades: K12 Inc. Goes Dunce Cap in Hand and New Stock Coverage: Ruby Tuesday Neither Day Late Nor Dollar Short.)
No positions in stocks mentioned.
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