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Stock Upgrades: McDonald's Critics Take a Ribbing


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

MINYANVILLE ORIGINAL Capitol Hill's fiscal cliff negotiations continue to be cockamamie and hardly hitch free, but the Hitchcockian suspense seems to suit the stock market just fine. Dow Industrials (^DJI) climbed The 39 Steps and then some, ending up 39.55. It was a good day for a cult stock named after a fruit. But enough about a rebounding Apple (AAPL), whose 1.57% advance was left in the dust by a 7.26% surge in seriously strange yoga apparel powerhouse outfit Lululemon (LULU). (A pity, then, that the practitioners of the hippy discipline care not a jot about anything as grubby as money.)

Meanwhile spiritual guru Deepak Chopra, who sits on the board of Men's Warehouse (MW), may need more meditation after it tumbled 2.68% on iffy earnings. Elsewhere Akamai (AKAM), which means intelligence in Hawaiian, advanced 10.03% to top the entire S&P 500 Index (^GSPC), this as Hawaii marks one of the gravest intelligence failures in American history.

Harry Winston Diamond (HWD) is out with quarterly earnings this morning, while the day's economic data includes December's University of Michigan Consumer Sentiment Index at 9:55 a.m. Eastern and October consumer credit at 3:00 p.m.

Acadia Realty Trust (AKR): Shares are upgraded to Outperform from Market Perform by BMO Capital, which is impressed with its urban portfolio transformation. The new increased price objective is $30.

Aetna (AET): The stock is up ahead of this morning's opening bell on an upgrade to Overweight from Neutral at JP Morgan.

DST Systems (DST): The stock gets upgraded to Buy from Hold at Stern Agee.

McDonald's (NYSE:MCD): The Dow (^DJI) member, which rose yesterday amid news its McRib pork sandwich will return on December 17, is today taken to Buy from Neutral at Janney Capital. The brokerage's survey indicates improving same-store-sales, and its price target is $104.

Melco Crown Entertainment (MPEL): MPEL gets moved to Overweight from Neutral at JPMorgan.

Roche Holding (PINK:RHHBY) The drug stock is taken to Overweight from Equal-Weight at Morgan Stanley.

Royal Bank of Canada (RY): CIBC World Markets moves the financial firm to Outperform from Performer as it expects improved momentum relative to peers.

Syngenta (SYT): JPMorgan moves the stock to Neutral from Underweight.

Taiwan Semiconductor (TSM): TSM is taken to Outperform from Neutral at Credit Suisse.

(See also: New Stock Coverage: Fast Money Chases JPMorgan and Stock Downgrades: Silver Screens Are a Lead Balloon for Regal Entertainment.)
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