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Stock Upgrades: Underperforming Indian Outsourcer Wipro Moving From Slumdog to Millionaire?

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

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MINYANVILLE ORIGINAL With the Republican convention officially under way, Ronald Reagan's Teflon touch remains intact. PVH Corp. (PVH), whose Phillips-Van Heusen shirts were so beloved of the Gipper, gained 4.84% to the highest level in its history. Detroit native Mitt Romney was doubtless encouraged by a country-leading 6% surge in home prices in Michigan's largest city. However, despite his single-handedly trying to help the housing situation in San Diego by building a four-car garage with its own elevator in California's second largest city, real estate prices at the port actually fell on an annual basis, extending an 18-month slump. At least wife Ann, who he noted just last week was "born in Henry Ford (F) hospital," will have enjoyed a bullish analyst initiation on the automaker as she took to the podium to introduce her husband. (Lest anyone think I have it in for the GOP, let me add that HJ Heinz (HNZ) - whose "57 Varieties" represent one for each state in the union, according to Barack Obama - added 1.68% to an historic peak.) Today in economics, pending home sales for July are announced at 10:00 a.m. Eastern and the Fed releases its regional financial survey known as the beige book at 2:00 p.m. In earnings action, Brown-Forman (BF-B), China Life Insurance (LFC), Flow International (FLOW), HJ Heinz (HNZ), Joy Global (JOY), Oxford Industries (OXM), Pandora (P), TiVo Inc. (TIVO), Vera Bradley Inc. (VRA), and Zale Corp. (ZLC) are all due to report results.

AkzoNobel (AKZOY): Shares are upgraded to Outperform from Neutral at Credit Suisse.

Angie's List (ANGI): The stock gets increased to Outperform from Perform with a $15 price objective at Oppenheimer, which says its August 14 lock-up expiration should reduce volatility.

Bank of Montreal (BMO): BMO is boosted to Buy from Hold at Canadian firm Desjardins. A dividend increase and improved earnings are each seen as catalysts.

Cyberonics (CYBX): The stock is hoisted to Buy from Hold at Canaccord Genuity.

Molycorp (MCP): The rare earth outfit gets upgraded to Buy from Hold at Gabelli.

Reed Elsevier (RUK): JPMorgan lifts the provider of information services including LexisNexis to Overweight from Neutral. Shares are higher ahead of the opening bell as a result.

WellPoint (WLP): The stock, up sharply before the bell, is boosted by Sanford Bernstein to Market Perform from Outperform on account of the resignation of CEO Angela Braly. The new target is $73.

Wipro (WIT): The Bangalore-based outfit, down 19.58% in the past 12 months, is upgraded to Overweight from Neutral at HSBC Securities, which says it is competing effectively in more large deals.

(See also: New Stock Coverage: Diamond Offshore Drilling Sparkles Despite Isaac and Stock Downgrades: MTV Owner Viacom Gets Punk'd.)
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No positions in stocks mentioned.
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