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Stock Upgrades: Starbucks Still Making Big Bucks

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

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MINYANVILLE ORIGINAL Macy's (M) jumped 6.44% yesterday and near neighbor Madison Square Garden (MSG) minutes ago beat the Street by a nickel. The real Miracle on 34th Street, however, will be when its subway system works again.

British telecom titan BT Group (BT) surged 6.72% on its impressive rollout of "fibre." Fibre? Surely that should be "fiber." Anyhoo, it's not for us to quibble with how they spell across the Atlantic. Just be grateful Broadway is back in business so we can all enjoy the theater/theatre. (Although stay away from Annie Get Your Gun after Smith & Wesson (SWHC) slumped 6.78% on an otherwise stellar session in equities.)

On the day after the Day of the Dead, Walking Dead broadcaster AMC Networks (AMCX) advanced 3.84% to a new lifetime high. Elsewhere recent reports of the demise of Microsoft (MSFT) and Intel (INTC) appear a mite premature after they rose a respective 3.42% and 2.91%.

A week to the day after Crocs Inc. (CROX) so damaged plastic, Visa (V) - up 3.68% at an historic high - and Tupperware (TUP) - a 6.35% gainer after an upgrade - each redeemed the reputation of the organic polymer. And Prestige Brands (PBH), maker of Murine Ear wax removal, now costs a pretty penny following its 18.46% increase, although the company really ought to take more care in its placement of price tags.

Today in economics, analysts expect an improvement in September factory orders at 10:00 a.m. Eastern. Another peak earnings week comes to a close with Alpha Natural Resources (ANR), Chesapeake Energy (CHK), Chevron Corporation (CVX), Madison Square Garden (MSG), and Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS), and Washington Post (WPO) all due to release results.

Big 5 Sports (BGFV): Shares are upgraded to Strong Buy from Buy at Needham, which takes its price objective up to $15 from $13.

British Sky Broadcasting (BSYBY): The stock is up in London today after Goldman Sachs added it to its Conviction Buy List, citing attractive valuation.

CBOE Holdings (CBOE): The stock is upgraded to Outperform from Market Perform at Keefe Bruyette.

Iconix Brand (ICON): Benchmark boosts ICON to Buy from Hold.

Icon plc (ICLR): Shares are upgraded to Outperform from Neutral at Robert W. Baird.

Mannkind (MNKD): JPMorgan moves MNKD to Neutral from Sell.

Mednax (MD): Shares are hoisted to Hold from Sell at Deutsche Bank.

Oil States International (OIS): The energy equity is increased to Outperform from Market Perform at Raymond James following yesterday's sell-off. The target is $85.

PC Connection (PCCC): Raymond James raises its rating to Market Perform from Underperform.

Priceline (PCLN): Shares are upgraded to Buy from Hold at Stifel Nicolaus amid a stabilizing European outlook. The price target is $760.

Rockwell Automation (ROK): ROK is raised to Overweight from Neutral at JPMorgan.

Starbucks (NASDAQ:SBUX) Shares, surging 8% before the bell, are boosted by Crédit Agricole to Buy from Outperform.

Symmetry Medical (SMA): The stock is upgraded to Buy from Hold at Benchmark.

Tanger Factory (SKT): Jefferies juices its recommendation to Buy from Hold.

TrueBlue (TBI): Deutsche Bank hoists the temporary staffing stock to Buy from Hold.

UBS AG (NYSE:UBS): Shares are up in Europe after Société Générale raised it to Buy from Hold.

US Cellular (USM): Citing a compelling valuation, Raymond James upgrades the name to Market Perform from Underperform.

Watson Pharmaceuticals (WPI): Shares are upgraded to Overweight from Equal Weight with Piper Jaffray.

(See also: New Stock Coverage: Deckers Outdoor Up Off the Floor and Stock Downgrades: Lady Luck Leaving Las Vegas Sands.)
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No positions in stocks mentioned.
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