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Stock Upgrades: Nothing but Net Profits for Nike


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

As Mariano Rivera bid adieu to the Bronx after 18 years, he could be forgiven for thinking how much has changed since his first appearance in pinstripes in 1995. Then again, maybe not. That year saw Yahoo (NASDAQ:YHOO) incorporated and, still shiny and new, shares surged 4.50% yesterday. eBay Inc (NASDAQ:EBAY) was founded months later, and just jumped 4.48%. And, of course, back then the country was blighted by a government shutdown, which could never occur again, even as Katy Perry continues to channel (Chanel?) 1995′s Clueless. That October, O.J. Simpson's acquittal caused a 41% drop in New York Stock Exchange trading volume. To judge from yesterday's NYSE-worst 16.10% nosedive in Hertz (NYSE:HTZ), the car company has never quite recovered from having him as a spokesman. At least Mo will be well cared for in retirement, with his favored athletic apparel outfit Nike (NYSE:NKE) surging as we speak.

Today in economics, analysts expect an uptick in the final University of Michigan/Thomson Reuters consumer sentiment survey for September at 9:55 a.m. Eastern. In earnings action, BlackBerry (NASDAQ:BBRY), Finish Line (NASDAQ:FINL), and Vail Resorts (NYSE:MTN) all released results earlier this morning.

AXA SA (OTCMKTS:AXAHY): Berenberg boosts the European insurance outfit to Buy from Hold.

CONSOL Energy (NYSE:CNX): The commodity company is now Buy from Neutral at Goldman Sachs.

DCP Midstream (NYSE:DPM): Credit Suisse lifts the limited partnership to Neutral from Underperform.

Hennes & Mauritz (OTCMKTS:HNNMY): The Swedish clothing company better known as H&H, fresh from yesterday's 6.98% surge to an historic high, is now Outperform from Neutral at Credit Suisse.

Heritage-Crystal Clean (NASDAQ:HCCI): The pollution control company is boosted to Buy from Hold with Wunderlich, which points to capacity expansion opportunities at its Indianapolis re-refinery. Its price objective, previously $16, increases to $20.

Nike (NYSE:NKE): The new Dow (INDEXDJX:.DJI) member, which rose 2.06% yesterday and is adding on another 5.52% this morning on impressive earnings, is now Buy from Neutral at Stern Agee.

Occidental Petroleum (NYSE:OXY): The energy name is now Positive from Neutral at Susquehanna, which also takes its target price up by $12 to $115.

Solar Stocks: Deutsche Bank hoists Chinese alternative energy outfits Trina Solar (NYSE:TSL) and Yingli Green Energy (NYSE:YGE), each now Buy from Hold.

Walter Energy (NYSE:WLT): Goldman gives the coal company a Neutral-from-Sell upgrade.

WPP Group (NASDAQ:WPPGY): The British advertising giant gets upgraded to Overweight from Neutral at HSBC Securities.

(See also: Stock Downgrades: Avis Hurt by Hertz Crash and New Stock Coverage: Don't Be Naughty - Buy Nice.)

Disclosure: Minyanville Studios, a division of Minyanville Media, has a business relationship with BlackBerry.
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