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Stock Upgrades: BT Group Will Give Your Portfolio a Kick in the Grass


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

When $100 men's underwear is all the rage, it shows just how far we have bounced off the Haines bottom. Since then, the S&P 500 Index (INDEXSP:.INX) has more than doubled with US stock markets standing at fresh peaks as we speak. The Dow (INDEXDJX:.DJI) rose to a record high in a week that was all about ornithology. Buy buy birdie was the way to go as Twitter's (NYSE:TWTR) bluebird surged some 73% on its first day of trading. This as Finland, birthplace of Angry Birds, saw its index gain 2.00% to top all European bourses. (Alas, lest anyone think PIIGS have similarly started to fly, the continent's three poorest performers were Greece, Italy, and Spain, down a respective 0.67%, 1.06%, and 1.15%.) Here at home, investors were oddly euphoric that a country of over 300 million people last month added 204,000 jobs, or the number of Sexy, Free & Single copies K-Pop group Super Junior sold in only five days. Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) jumped 6.3% after analyst Rick Sherlund, who long had the best mustache on Wall Street, got into the spirit of Movember and increased his price objective to $45. But it was a bad week for BlackBerry (NASDAQ:BBRY), which slumped 16%, and Pinkberry, whose co-founder was found guilty in a gruesome assault. As for French berets, David Slaine - partial to the hats - helped take down hedge fund SAC Capital.

There is no economic data due today that may move US markets, and both banks and the bond markets are closed in observance of Veterans Day. Regarding specific stocks, expect quarterly earnings announcements out of Arkansas Best (NASDAQ:ABFS), Cooper Tire (NYSE:CTB), Hologic (NASDAQ:HOLX), GSV Capital (NASDAQ:GSVC), News Corp (NASDAQ:NWSA), Nordic American Tanker (NYSE:NAT), Rackspace (NYSE:RAX), and Sotheby's (NYSE:BID).

American Tower (NYSE:AMT): AMT gets increased to Buy from Neutral at Citigroup.

Best Buy (BBY): The top S&P 500 stock of 2013, left for dead not long ago amid "showrooming" concerns, is now Buy from Neutral at UBS. The Swiss bank is impressed with earnings growth potential at Best Buy.

BT Group (NYSE:BT): Fresh from scoring a blockbuster $1.4 billion soccer deal, BT Group gets upgraded to Overweight from Neutral at JP Morgan. British telecom titan BT Group may not be a household name on this side of the Atlantic, but investors should have no hang-ups over its history. Privatized - or privatised as they say across the pond - by the Iron Lady in the 1980s, the company also claims to have invented the hyperlink.

Calgon Carbon Corp. (NYSE:CCC): Shares are hoisted to Buy from Hold at BB&T Capital.

Concho Resources (NYSE:CXO): Canaccord Genuity gives the energy outfit a Buy-from-Neutral boost.

Energizer Holdings (NYSE:ENR): Energizer Holdings gets moved to Overweight at Morgan Stanley. Energizer Holdings is best known for its indefatigable battery bunny, but its ubiquitous other brands include Banana Boat, Diaper Genie, Hawaiian Tropic, Playtex, Schick, and Wet Ones.

Exxon Mobil (NYSE:XOM): The Dow member is now Buy from Hold at Argus.

NETGEAR (NASDAQ:NTGR): NTGR is now Sector Perform from Underperform at RBC Capital.

Rocket Fuel (NASDAQ:FUEL): Shares are raised to Outperform from Market Perform by BMO Capital Markets.

TD Ameritrade (NYSE:AMTD): Raymond James takes discount broker TD Ameritrade to Outperform from Market Perform. Over the past 12 months, shares of TD Ameritrade are up an extremely impressive 81.49%

Youku Tudou (NYSE:YOKU): The Beijing-based Internet information provider is boosted to Buy from Hold at Brean Capital.

(See also New Stock Coverage: Can Empire State Realty Trust Be King Kong? and Stock Downgrades: Manic Monday for Prozac Maker Eli Lilly)
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