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Stock Upgrades: Glass Half Full for Monster Beverage

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

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MINYANVILLE ORIGINAL Fiscal cliff negotiations appear to be finally showing signs of progress, but John Wiley & Sons (JW-A) - whose most famous product really should be a beneficiary - fell 4.66% after iffy Q2 earnings. Elsewhere, an analyst downgrade sent Priceline.com (PCLN) plunging 5.03% to post the S&P 500's (^GSPC) poorest performance. (Its main man long ago fell off the precipice, of course.) And the top S&P 500 stock was, wouldn't you know it, Cliffs Natural Resources (CLF), which rose 4.75%.

Today in economics, October wholesale inventories are out at 10:00 a.m. Eastern and the Federal Open Market Committee starts its two-day policy meeting in Washington, DC. In earnings action, Casey's General Stores (CASY), Dollar General (DG), Geospace Technologies (GEOS), Magellan Health Services (MGLN), The Pantry (PTRY), and ThyssenKrupp (PINK:TYEKF) are all due to report results.

Ameris Bancorp (ABCB): The stock gets upgraded to Buy from Neutral at Sterne Agee.

CEMEX S.A. (CX): Morgan Stanley moves the Mexican cement stock to Equal-Weight from Underweight.

Lottomatica (PINK:LTTOY) Credit Suisse lifts the Italian lottery outfit to Outperform from Neutral.

Monster Beverage (NASDAQ:MNST): Stifel Nicolaus moves MNST to Buy from Hold with a $65 price target. Sales growth is seen as re-accelerating in 2Q13 and regulatory risk is overstated, in its view.

Stryker (SYK): Goldman Sachs moves the medical device maker to Buy from Neutral, sending shares up 2.9% before the bell.

Suez Environnement (PINK:SZEVY): Shares are surging 6.9% in Europe today on a boost by BNP Paribas to Outperform from Neutral.

(See also: Stock Downgrades: Wheels Come Off Foster Wheeler and New Stock Coverage: Tumi Is Going Places.)
No positions in stocks mentioned.
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