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Stock Upgrades: Skechers Has Fresh Spring in Its Step


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

MINYANVILLE ORIGINAL On a day alleged bookkeeping hanky panky at Autonomy Software made Hewlett-Packard (HPQ) easily the Dow's (^DJI) poorest performer, the top NYSE stock was Krispy Kreme Doughnuts (KKD), up 23.47% and itself no stranger to cooking the books.

Qihoo 360 Technology (QIHU) jumped 2.11% after reporting a remarkably robust set of numbers. As a Chinese Internet company, at least its financial data is utterly above reproach. And if potato chip producer Diamond Foods (DMND), which dropped another 1.87% to a lifetime low, casts accounting aspersions on anyone, well, that really would be the pot calling the Kettle black.

An analyst upgrade sent Zipcar (ZIP) surging 7.11%, and on the day ZipRealty (ZIPR) rose 7.63%. Bill Clinton, a longstanding member of the "Zipper Club," must be beaming. (No silly, not that kind - the cardiac kind. As such, Bubba doubtless feels the pain at Sunshine Heart (SSH), which ended off 1.5% after being up some 17.8% before the opening bell.)

It's a relatively busy morning in economics ahead of tomorrow's market close. The University of Michigan's final figure for November consumer confidence is out at 9:55 a.m. Eastern, and October leading indicators arrive at 10:00 a.m. Corporate earnings are expected out of China Resources Enterprise (CRHKY), Deere (DE), and Donaldson (DCI).

British Land (BTLCY): Morgan Stanley moves the stock to Overweight from Equal Weight, sending it up in overseas trading this morning.

First Republic Bank (FRC): Jefferies juices its recommendation to Buy from Hold.

Greenlight Capital (GLRE): Shares get upgraded to Buy from Neutral at UBS based amid solid book value per share growth. The price target is also taken up, to $27 from $25.50.

Inergy (NRGY): The name is now Outperform from Neutral at Robert W. Baird, which issues a $21 target price.

Lloyds Banking Group (LYG): Shares of the financial firm are up in London trading today after an Equal Weight from Underweight boost by Morgan Stanley, which highlights lessened risk regarding asset quality.

Lukoil (LUKOY): Credit Suisse upgrades the Russian energy giant to Outperform from Market Perform.

Penn National Gaming (PENN): PENN is now Buy from Neutral at Lazard Capital.

Repsol (REPYY): The Spanish energy outfit gets a Buy-from-Hold hoist at brokerage boutique Kepler.

Skechers USA (NYSE:SKX): Impressed by both valuation and product momentum, Susquehanna takes the footwear firm to Positive from Neutral. The new price objective is $22, a $3 increase.

Webster Financial (WBS): Morgan Stanley moves the stock to Equal-Weight from Overweight.

(See also: New Stock Coverage: Feast on Yum Brands Before Thanksgiving and Stock Downgrades: St. Jude Medical Loses Another Disciple.)
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