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Stock Upgrades: Sherwin-Williams Set to Paint the Town Red


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

MINYANVILLE ORIGINAL If the fifth lightest trading volume of 2012 was like watching paint dry, you won't find Sherwin-Williams (NYSE:SHW) complaining. The stock climbed 5.84% in its best showing for 14 months, and scored an analyst upgrade this morning. Titanium Metals (TIE) jumped 42.61% to easily top the entire S&P 500 (^GSPC) but the news wasn't nearly as good for Molycorp (MCP), maker of yttrium, niobium, tantalum, gallium, indium, rhenium, and zirconium. It lost 4.40% to a new lifetime-low and was just slashed at Morgan Stanley (MS). Tom Lehrer would say their shares are going for a song.

Firearms firm Smith & Wesson (SWHC), up another 4.09%, continued its post-election surge but on Veterans' Day the pen mercifully proved mightier than the sword, as A.T. Cross (ATX) advanced 10.34%. The Post Office, which long ago reached a $15 billion debt limit to plunge off its own fiscal Cliff Clavin, took the day off along with all other hard-working government agencies, thus missing out on an impressive 3.24% increase in (STMP).

There's no top-tier economic data due this morning but quarterly earnings continue apace, with retailers increasingly coming to the fore. Aecom Technology (ACM), Cisco Systems (CSCO), Dick's Sporting Goods (DKS), E.ON (EONGY), Home Depot (HD), Michael Kors (KORS), Saks Inc. (SKS), TJX Companies (TJX), Vivendi (VIVHY), and Vodafone (VOD) are all due to release results today.

Albemarle (ALB): Citing expectations that its Polymer Solutions business will stabilize in 2013 among other catalysts, Goldman Sachs gives the stock a Buy-from-Neutral boost. The price objective is also increased, by $5 to $67.

Apollo Commercial Real Estate (ARI): ARI is upgraded to Outperform from Market Perform at JMP Securities.

Chemical Companies: Air Products (APD), Dow Chemical (DOW), and Kraton Performance Polymers (KRA) all get Buy-from-Neutral boosts at Goldman Sachs.

Eaton Vance (EV): The money manager is lifted to Neutral from Sell at Bank of America-Merrill Lynch.

F5 Networks (FFIV):Goldman Sachs gives the application software outfit a Buy-from-Neutral boost.

Laboratory Corp. of America (LH): LH gets hoisted to Buy from Hold with WallachBeth, which cites both the recent share-price pullback and President Obama's reelection. The target is also taken up, to $97 from $91.

NuSTAR Energy (NS): The limited partnership is lifted to Neutral from Underperform at Credit Suisse amid an attractive valuation. Its price objective is $44.

Rockwood Holdings (ROC): ROC is showing strength before this morning's opening bell after getting raised to Buy from Neutral at Goldman.

Sherwin-Williams (NYSE:SHW): Crédit Agricole upgrades the paint powerhouse, a strong performer yesterday, to Outperform from Underperform. Its new target is $170, up from $145.

Stratasys (SSYS): Shares are upgraded to Overweight from Equal Weight at Piper Jaffray.

3D Systems (DDD): Piper takes the stock to Overweight from Equal Weight.

(See also: New Stock Coverage: Berry Plastics Looks Fantastic and Stock Downgrades: Molycorp Can No Longer Be Mollycoddled.)
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