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Stock Upgrades: Zynga Out of the Doghouse?


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

MINYANVILLE ORIGINAL "The Scream," a painting of pure panic from 1896, descended on New York yesterday. Thankfully the Dow (^DJI), which arrived on the scene the same year, avoided the sort of existential angst it suffered 24-hours earlier. Stocks still ended off again however, and some shares were especially hit.

WALL-E was inducted into the Robot Hall of Fame but iRobot's (IRBT) invitation was unceremoniously revoked after it nosedived 19.08% to a new low in propping up all Nasdaq (^IXIC) issues. March of the Penguins perfectly described the situation at Netflix (NFLX), where a flock of analysts concurrently queued up to cut price targets and sent it tumbling 11.88%. A new study showed the glass ceiling starts early and there is a debt ceiling to worry about at glass panel giant Corning (GLW), which cratered 9.40%.

Today in economics, September pending home sales are out at 10:00 a.m. Eastern. It's another frenetic session for earnings announcements, with Amazon (AMZN), Apple (AAPL), AstraZeneca (AZN), Banco Santander (SAN), Colgate-Palmolive (CL), Daimler (DDAIY), Luxottica (LUX), Novartis (NVS), Procter & Gamble (PG), Sprint (S), and Unilever (UN) all expected to report results.

Akamai Technologies (AKAM): Shares are upgraded to Buy from Hold at Canaccord Genuity.

AllianceBernstein (AB): Keefe Bruyette moves the money manager to Outperform from Market Perform.

Angie's List (ANGI): The name is now Outperform Market Perform at Barrington Research, which assigns a price objective of $13. Catalysts include revenue visibility and differentiated offerings.

Boston Properties (BXP): BXP is boosted to Buy from Hold at Stifel Nicolaus, whose target price is $120.

Ciena Corp. (CIEN): Shares are upgraded to Outperform from Market Perform at FBR Capital.

Cullen/Frost Bankers (CFR): Shares are now Neutral from Underperform at Sterne Agee on account of recent relative under-performance. The target is $54.

EnCana (ECA): ECA is increased to Outperform from Perform at BMO Capital.

Equinix (EQIX): Shares are now Buy from Neutral at Citigroup.

FMC Technologies (FTI): Jefferies juices its recommendation to Hold from Underperform.

Honeywell (HON): HON is hoisted to Outperform from Market Perform by Sanford Bernstein amid margin expansion and secular tailwinds. The target is also taken up, to $76 from $72.

Hormel Foods (HRL): Citing strong earnings and an impressive balance sheet, Stephens upgrades the Spam maker to Overweight from Equal Weight. Its price objective is also increased, by $4 to $34.

Newfield Exploration (NFX): NFX is now Market Perform from Underperform at Raymond James.

Prosperity Bancshares (PB): PB is upgraded to Outperform at Keefe Bruyette.

Skyworks (SWKS): Shares are upgraded to Strong Buy from Outperform at Raymond James.

Wynn Resorts (WYNN): The casino company is now Neutral from Sell at Compass Point.

Zynga (NASDAQ:ZNGA) The social-gaming stock famous for its dog logo gets a Buy-from-Hold hoist at Needham. Key positives are a buyback and cost-cutting initiatives, and its target is $4. Shares are surging 17% before the bell.

(See also: Stock Downgrades: Crocs Carried Out Feet First and New Stock Coverage: Time Warner Cable Gets Great Reception.)
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