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Stock Upgrades: Fast Money Piles Into Zipcar

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

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MINYANVILLE ORIGINAL Stocks enjoyed their best day in two months on ever higher hopes for a fiscal cliff agreement between the White House and Capitol Hill, never mind that President Obama is in Asia and Congress on its Thanksgiving break. The mere hint of our leaders finally talking turkey sent chicken titan Tyson Foods (TSN) up 10.90% to top the entire S&P 500 Index (^GSPC).

Apple Inc. (AAPL) enjoyed its single best session since the spring after an analyst characterized a recent sell off in the American institution as "insanely insane". (And we all know what kind of people populate institutions.) Its shares, up 7% in a day and down 7% in a month, could certainly be labeled skitzo. Elsewhere Intel (INTC), where Only the Paranoid Survive is falling 1.63% before the bell on a ratings reduction and the surprise departure of its CEO.

Grupo Casa Saba (SAB), a Mexican drug stock - – no, not that kind; it's a pharmacy chain - founded in 1892 advanced 11.34%. There must have been something in the air back then as Abercrombie & Fitch (ANF), also 120 years old, followed last week's 29.66% surge by adding on another 7.17%.

It's a fairly tepid Tuesday in economic data but Fed head Ben Bernanke speaks at the Economic Club of New York at 12:15 p.m. Eastern. On the corporate front, earnings announcements are expected out of American Woodmark (AMWD), Best Buy (BBY), Campbell Soup (CPB), Chico's FAS (CHS), easyJet (ESYJY), Hewlett-Packard (HPQ), H. J. Heinz (HNZ), Hormel Foods (HRL), Medtronic (MDT), salesforce.com (CRM), Signet Jewelers (SIG), and Zale (ZLC).

AK Steel (AKS): The recently slumping commodity company is now Neutral from Sell at Goldman Sachs.

American Axle (AXL): Jefferies juices its recommendation to Hold from Underperform.

Archer Daniels Midland (ADM): Shares are upgraded to Outperform from Market Perform by BMO Capital.

Boardwalk Pipeline (BWP): The limited partnership gets lifted to Outperform from Neutral at Credit Suisse.

Expedia (EXPE): The online travel outfit is taken to Equal-Weight from Underweight by Barclays.

Joy Global (JOY): Citing a strengthening Chinese economy, BMO Capital boosts the equity to Market Perform from Underperform and takes its target up by $15 to $64.

ING Groep (ING): Société Générale upgrades its fellow European financial firm to Buy from Hold.

InterContinental Hotels (IHG): Shares are higher in London this morning on the back of an Overweight-from-Equal Weight upgrade by Barclays.

Merck (MRK): The Dow (^DJI) member is moved to Buy from Neutral at MKM Partners.

NCR Corp. (NCR): JPMorgan adds the stock to its Focus List of favored equities.

Penn National Gaming (PENN): Goldman Sachs gives the stock a Neutral-from-Sell upgrade.

Pentair (PNR): Shares are now Outperform from Neutral at Robert W. Baird, which takes its target to $60 from $52.

Realty Income (O): Janney Montgomery Scott raises its rating on the retail REIT to Buy from Hold.

Research In Motion (RIMM): RIMM is raised to Hold from Underperform at Jefferies, as checks indicate carriers have a better perception of the new BlackBerry 10.

Riverbed Technology (RVBD): Shares are upgraded to Outperform at Northland Securities.

SVB Financial (SIBV): The company is taken to Buy from Hold at Citigroup.

Subsea 7 (SUBCY): Shares are now Neutral from Sell at Credit Suisse.

Whole Foods (WFM): The stock gets upgraded to Buy from Hold at Goldman, which cites margin expansion, and comparative growth. The price objective is also increased, $106 from $105.

Zipcar (NASDAQ:ZIP): Shares are up before the bell on a boost to Buy from Neutral at Goldman, which is impressed by a broadening geographic reach. The new target is $8.75, up from $8.00.

(See also: New Stock Coverage: Tide Is High at Royal Caribbean Cruises and Stock Downgrades: Hewlett-Packard Has Hell to Pay.)
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No positions in stocks mentioned.
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