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Stock Upgrades: Goldman Finds Treasure in Trash


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

MINYANVILLE ORIGINAL Mick Jagger, who knew a thing or two about economics, might have been right in suggesting we should all just jump off the fiscal cliff. (He was certainly right about the Flash part, with Adobe (ABBE) advancing 1.73% to a fresh 52-week peak.) Ongoing stalemate in Washington saw stocks slip for a second straight day, with Cliffs Natural Resources (CLF) suffering another downgrade, Vail Resorts (MTN) sliding 7.90%, and New Mountain Finance (NMFC) falling 5.05%.

Elsewhere Las Vegas Sands (LVS) tumbled 2.76% and far eastern casino company Asia Entertainment (AERL) imploded 10.98% amid separate reports of junkets, money laundering, and concerns over the quality of financial statements in the Chinese gambling sector. Allegations that surely left our man in Casablanca utterly shocked, shocked.

Today in economics, October factory orders and the Institute for Supply Management's November services index are each out at 10:00 a.m. Eastern. On the earnings front, Ascena Retail Group (ASNA), Brown-Forman (BF.B), Francesca's Holdings (FRAN), Finisar (FNSR), Men's Wearhouse (MW) and Vera Bradley (VRA) are all due to report results.

AeroVironment (AVAV): AVAV is now Neutral from Underperform at Sterne Agee based on new contracting opportunities.

American International Group (AIG): Shares get upgraded to Buy from Hold at Argus to reflect business stabilization. Its price objective is $40.

BNP Paribas (PINK:BNPQY): Shares of the French financial giant are trading higher in Paris today after Citigroup added the stock to its European Focus List of favored equities.

Bob Evans Farms (BOBE): The stock is up ahead of the open on a hoist to Buy from Hold at KeyBanc, whose target is $45.

DuPont Fabros Technology (DFT): Shares are boosted to Buy from Hold at Cantor Fitzgerald.

DST Systems (DST): The name is now Equal Weight from Underweight at Evercore.

Garbage Industry: Republic Services (NYSE:RSG) is added to the Conviction Buy list at Goldman Sachs, which boosts Waste Management (NYSE:WM) to Buy from Neutral.

PNC Financial Services (PNC): PNC is upgraded to Outperform from Perform at FBR Capital amid fee income growth.

Tupperware Brands (TUP): Argus takes TUP to Buy from Hold based on emerging market growth opportunities. Its price target is $72.

VeriFone Systems (PAY): Citing secular growth in payments, UBS boosts the stock to Buy from Neutral with an intact $39 price objective.

(See also: Stock Downgrades: Cliffs Natural Resources Has Fiscal Mountain to Climb and New Stock Coverage: Victoria's Secret Owner Limited Brands Has Something to Hide.)
No positions in stocks mentioned.
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