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Upgrades & Downgrades: Delphi Automotive is Off to The Races


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

Christmas in July? More like July 27 on December 27. With a little help from a man forever associated with Da Bears, da bulls roared back on Wall Street last week, Dow Industrials (^DJI) advancing 3.60% to stand this morning at their highest level in exactly five months amid a drumbeat of steadily improving economic data. The better news here at home occurred in tandem with a relative absence of apocalyptic headlines out of Europe. Indeed Italy approved an austerity budget after debating for days, this as an American crashed a decidedly un-austere Italian car after owning it for six hours. Tim Tebow, the quarterback who found God - that must have been a heck of a throw – couldn't perform any Christmas Eve miracles in Buffalo, where the Bills failed to sell 24,000 seats for his visit. But owners of Buffalo Wild Wings (BWLD), those chicken delicacies that accompany so many Super Bowl parties, were too busy counting both blessings and dollar bills to care after its stock ended up 10.3%.

Pigeons are of course birds of an entirely different feather altogether, although they are apparently marvelous at math. The National Association of Realtors really ought to employ a flock or two. A movie based on a Belgian cartoon that debuted in 1929 - not the most financially fruitful year - amassed $17,712,000 in its first week at the box office. Tintin in the Land of the Soviets was the first title in the series, and depicted a country of hardscrabble Communist poverty. Fast forward 82 years and its 22-year-old college students are buying $88 million mansions in the Capital of Capitalism. And the world's oldest stockbroker turned 106 last Monday and imparted the following words of wisdom: "Reduce the number of words on a page. Shorten them. Don't waste a lot of words when you're talking to people, get the bottom line." Sage advice from a remarkable character, counsel that proved particularly providential when later that same day a billionaire Saudi prince paid $300 million for 140 character pith. This morning in economics, analysts expect an increase in December consumer confidence at 10:00 a.m. Eastern. Egg producer Cal-Maine Foods (CALM) is the pick of earnings reports on an otherwise slow data day.


Aluminum Corporation Of China (ACH): First Global initiates an Underperform on the Asian commodity company.

LinkedIn (LNKD): The recent social networking IPO is launched with an Underperform rating and $74 to $76 fair value estimate at Telsay Advisory Group, among whose concerns are potential dilution from equity-based compensation and an upcoming expiration of stock lockups.

Delphi Automotive (DLPH): Shares are a new Neutral at Citigroup, initiated Outperform ($29 price target) at Robert W. Baird and Credit Suisse, assigned Overweights by Barclays, Morgan Stanley and JPMorgan, and begun with Buys at both Goldman Sachs and Bank of America-Merrill Lynch.

InvenSense (INVN): Piper Jaffray picks up the stock at Overweight, Goldman Sachs and ThinkEquity both begin Buy recommendations, and Morgan Stanley establishes an Equal Weight.


Teradata (TDC): The tech stock is added to Bank of America-Merrill Lynch's US 1 List of favored equities.

VMware (VMW): Oppenheimer upgrades to Outperform from Perform and assigns a price objective of $100, sending shares up sharply ahead of the opening bell. Catalysts include the company's clear market leadership position in virtualization, strong cash flows, and solid fundamentals.


NeoPhotonics (NPTN): Shares lowered to Hold from Buy at ThinkEquity.

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No positions in stocks mentioned.
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