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Stock Upgrades: Time to Adopt the Cisco Kid


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

Blue chip Cisco Systems (NASDAQ:CSCO), up 1.67% before the bell, could boost Dow Industrials (INDEXDJX:.DJI) today after an analyst raised the tech titan's rating. The broker sees upside potential to Street earnings estimates amid increased sales for the firm's core switchers and routers. Its emerging cloud computing offerings also offer promise, in Deutsche Bank's (NYSE:DB) opinion.
Even as Monica Lewinsky bestrode the red carpet at Cipriani Wall Street and Scarlett was sunk by a crimson tide, Mr. Market managed to prove it is indeed easy being green. Investors, in a week when TGI Fridays went for $800 million, were saying "TGIF" after the S&P 500 (INDEXSP:.INX) hit an historic high ahead of the holiday weekend. Love was in the air as Southwest Airlines (NYSE:LUV) scaled fresh summits in a surging transportation tape, and wedding ring king Tiffany (NYSE:TIF) rose 6.8%, with the firm founded in 1837 finding a fresh lease on life. So much for something old and something new. As for something borrowed, debt was your best bet as Treasury two-year notes gained for a fourth straight week to continue confounding all "expert" opinion. Regarding something blue, the CEO of Levi Strauss joined the great unwashed, and (moving from jeans to genes) you'd be well advised to wash your hands of Myriad Genetics(NASDAQ:MYGN) after it tumbled 10.3%.
Today in economics, an improvement is expected in the Conference Board's May consumer confidence index at 10:00 a.m. EDT. On the corporate front, expect earnings announcements out of AutoZone (NYSE:AZO), JinkoSolar (NYSE:JKS), Qihoo 360 Technology (NYSE:QIHU), Scotiabank (NYSE:BNS), and Workday (NYSE:WDAY).
Now let's analyze this morning's upgrades, a group encompassing our aforementioned Cisco Systems as well as an office supply powerhouse.

AMC Entertainment (NYSE:AMC): The company -- not to be confused with AMC Networks (NASDAQ:AMCX) -- gets a Buy-from-Neutral boost at brokerage boutique B. Riley.
Brooks Automation (NASDAQ:BRKS): B. Riley takes the tech name to Buy from Neutral.
Cepheid (NASDAQ:CPHD): Coming away from meetings with company management increasingly encouraged about its investment thesis, Needham hoists its investment assessment to Buy from Hold with a $50 price objective.
Cisco Systems: Today's headline equity is taken to Buy from Hold at Deutsche Bank. Its target price also increases, by $5 to $30.
Credit Suisse (NASDAQ:CS): A busy Deutsche Bank boosts its fellow financial firm to Buy from Hold.
Guidewire Software (NYSE:GWRE): Shares get upgraded to Neutral from Sell at Citigroup.
Henkel (OTCMKTS:HENKY): Credit Suisse hoists the German glue giant to Neutral from Underperform.
Office Depot (NYSE:ODP): The stock is now Buy from Neutral at Goldman Sachs. Its price objective, previously an unusually precise $5.40, goes to $7.
Palo Alto Networks (NYSE:PANW): Nomura boosts its recommendation to Buy from Neutral and also takes its target up, by $12 to $80.
Splunk (NASDAQ:SPLK): Shares are now Outperform from Market Perform at Northland.
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No positions in stocks mentioned.
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