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Stock Upgrades: Go Bananas for Apple and Bank of New York Mellon


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

Five years after the market bottom, a top banana. The Dow (INDEXDJX:.DJI) barely budged, but Chiquita (NYSE:CQB) surged some 10.70% after buying British competitor Fyffes (OTCMKTS:FYFFF) for $526 million. (The combined company will be called CiquitaFyffes. These ceaselessly creative branding types on Madison Avenue, I tell ya. Little wonder Omnicom Group (NYSE:OMC) tumbled 2.56%. The cover curse clearly struck again as Mad Men's Moss grew on, if not a Rolling Stone, then certainly New York.) The banana behemoths will get off scot-free for taxes in Ireland, in much the same manner of Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL). What a fine time to be a fruit, especially with Orange (NYSE:ORAN) advancing 3.88% to a fresh best. Vegetables shouldn't be shunned, however. Per CongressPapa John's (NASDAQ:PZZA) is one, and yesterday its shares hit a historic high. Gotham's Fairway Group (NASDAQ:FWM), founded as a humble greengrocer during the depths of the Depression, gained 5.80%. It now rather ironically serves gourmet Big Apple foodies and upscale produce. Changed days: The Bowery, which was once America's Skid Row, now houses $21 million tear-downs. Green Mountain Coffee Roasters (NASDAQ:GMCR) lost 1.90% after changing its name, and Hooker Furniture (NASDAQ:HOFT), which might want to do likewise, dropped 1.21%. Although, as a Kiwi can freshly attest, it is often an awfully long process.
Today in economics, January wholesale inventories are expected to tick up at 10:00 a.m. Eastern. In earnings action, expect earnings announcements out of American Eagle Outfitters (NYSE:AEO), Caesars Entertainment (NASDAQ:CZR), and Dick's Sporting Goods (NYSE:DKS).
Anheuser-Busch InBev (NYSE:BUD): BUD gets upgraded to Buy from Hold at ING Group.
Apple: Who says bananas are better than apples? Pacific Crest today takes the tech titan to Outperform from Sector Perform with a price objective of $635, sending its shares up slightly as we speak. For more on Apple, read here and here.
Bank of Ireland (IRE): Bank of America-Merrill Lynch lifts its fellow financial firm, whose shares nose-dived 19% last week, to Buy from Neutral.
Bank of New York Mellon (NYSE:BK): UBS boosts BK to Buy from Neutral.
Gold StocksGold Fields (NYSE:GCI) gets upgraded to Sector Outperform from Sector Perform at CIBC World Markets, which hoists Harmony Gold (NYSE:HMY) to Sector Perform from Sector Underperform.
Imperial Holdings (NYSE:IFT): Shares are moved to Outperform from Market Perform at FBR Capital, whose target price is $8.50. Catalysts include the prospect for improved cash flow.
InterMune (NASDAQ:ITMN): Goldman Sachs gives the stock a Buy-from-Neutral upgrade. Its objective, previously $40, increases by $5.
J.C. Penney (NYSE:JCP): The rebounding retailer, whose stock surged 19% last week, is adding on another 8.55% before the bell after getting upgraded to Buy from Neutral at Citigroup. The bank believes revenue projections for 2014 will be achieved. Its target is also taken up substantially, to $11 from $7.50.
Macy's (NYSE:M): M is moved to Outperform from Market Perform with Wells Fargo.
Stanley Black & Decker (NYSE:SWK): Shares get taken to Outperform from Market Perform, again at Wells.
3D Systems (NYSE:DDD): Shares, which slumped 5.07% on yesterday's Barron's diss, are rebounding some this morning after being increased to Overweight from Equal Weight at Stephens.
Wesco Aircraft (NYSE:WAIR): RBC Capital raises the equity to Outperform from Perform.
Also see:

Stock Downgrades: Wall Street Hates State Street (MVPRO article)

New Stock Coverage: Intel Is Not Paranoid -- The Analyst Really Dislikes It (MVPRO article)

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