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Stock Upgrades: Market Got You Down? Aim High With Lowe's


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

March Madness? Yesterday, Mother Russia gave Mr. Market nothing but "Nyet." Larry and Magic came of age, of course, at the NCAA championship game of 1979. That was a deceptively momentous year, and one that really ought to have a book of its own some day. It was when Moscow marched into Afghanistan and Jimmy Carter responded with the lethal weapon of, uh, refusing to send our swimmers to the Olympics. That August, Business Week memorably declared "The Death of Equities." That didn't quite happen, but the Dow (INDEXDJX:.DJI) did just have the living daylights kicked out of it by Red Square. 1979 was when Three Mile Island had America at at sixes and sevens, and yesterday nuclear power play Exelon (NYSE:EXC), up 1.09%, was a rare gainer. As was Krispy Kreme Doughnuts (NYSE:KKD), which rose 1.16%; you know the market has gone to pot when Homer Simpson is the only one making a profit. The mother of all pyramid scheme rulings, on Amway, also occurred 35 years ago, and Herbalife (NYSE:HLF) updated the playbook in falling another 5.38%. Mark Zuckerberg, born three decades ago this May, is more about 1984, and yesterday he talked 1984 with President Obama. (Presumably on an untapped line.) Privacy -- who cares? The owner of LifeLock (NYSE:LOCKavailed the entire world of his Social Security details and just saw his stock surge 4.85% on a broker boost.
Today in economics, the March University of Michigan consumer sentiment survey is expected to tick up slightly from February's rate at 9:55 a.m. Eastern. On the quarterly earnings front, Ann Inc (NYSE:ANN), Buckle (NYSE:BKE), and Cooper Tire & Rubber (NYSE:CTB) all release results.
Banc of California (NASDAQ:BANC): Sterne Agee increases the regional financial firm to Buy from Neutral with a price objective of $14.25.
Iberdrola (OTCMKTS:IBDRY): The Spanish alternative-energy outfit gets a Buy-from-Hold boost by Deutsche Bank.
Independent Bank (NASDAQ:INDB): Keefe Bruyette upgrades the company to Outperform from Market Perform. Its target price, previously $40, also increases by $4.
Lowe's Companies (NYSE:LOW): LOW is lifted to Outperform from Perform at Oppenheimer. The objective gets raised to $57 from $50.
NuStar Energy (NYSE:NS): NS is now Buy from Neutral at Goldman Sachs, which takes its target to $62 from $49.
Teva Pharmaceutical (NYSE:TEVA): Both sides of The House of Morgan turn more upbeat, with shares now Neutral from Underweight at JP Morgan (target moved to $49 from $38) and Morgan Stanley moving it to Equal-Weight from Underweight.
Turkcell (NYSE:TKC): The telecom firm from Istanbul is up 1.64% as I write this article, after getting taken to Buy from Neutral at UBS.

Also see:

New Stock Coverage: Alcoa Doesn't Need the Dow

Stock Downgrades: Pull Plug Power From Your Portfolio
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No positions in stocks mentioned.
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