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Stock Upgrades: Margaret Thatcher Didn't Do U-Turns, but Rolls-Royce Does

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

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For any of you reading this on an empty stomach, forgive me for dissecting frogs so early in the morning. How interesting, however, that Muppets Most Wanted, about to open in movie theaters, introduces us to Kermit's twin Constantine, a Russian villain called the "world's No. 1 criminal" (Tina Fey also apparently makes an appearance as Gulag officer Nadya). It's actually no surprise to see the Dow (INDEXDJX:.DJI) up again yesterday, surging concurrent with a Kremlin crisis. The biggest bull market in history was born in August 1982; a mere three months later, Leonid Brezhnev, that proud son of Ukraine, died. He was succeed by the short-lived reign of sexagenarian elder statesman Yuri Andropov, who popped off in next to no time. In came Konstantin Chernenko, and he kicked the bucket in March 1985 after barely a year in office. This caused Ronnie to remark to Nancy, "How am I supposed to get anyplace with these Russians if they keep dying on me?" No matter. Later that very month, the Gipper bestrode the New York Stock Exchange as stocks continued to reach into the stratosphere. Indeed, it was only when we started making nice with Moscow in 1987, much to Maggie's chagrin, that the crash came. Good gainers during Tuesday's Black Sea-inspired rising tide of green ink for equities included iRobot (NASDAQ:IRBT), which rose another 1.98% and is now up 76.64% in the past 12 months alone. I am reluctant to praise such inanimate objects too much, however, for fear that they will make me redundant. Elsewhere, The Wolff of Wall Street sees his Gannett (NYSE:GCI) score an analyst upgrade this morning. Alas, the lone wolf on inflation still waits in vain for that '70s show to return. At least he can happily afford sheep's clothing after apparel costs fell in February, another tame month for the Consumer Price Index.
 
This afternoon at 2:00 p.m. EDT, the Federal Open Market Committee concludes its two-day policy meeting, followed by Janet Yellen's first press conference as Fed head at 2:30 p.m. On the earnings front, FedEx (NYSE:FDX), General Mills (NYSE:GIS), and KB Home (NYSE:KBH) all release results.
 
Enterprise Products (NYSE:EPD): Credit Suisse lifts the limited partnership to Outperform from Neutral. Its price objective, previously $71, increases to $78.
 
Gannett: As mentioned, the USA Today owner gets upgraded to Equal Weight from Underweight by Barclays. The target price is also taken higher, by $1 to $25.
 
Juniper Networks (NYSE:JNPR): The tech name is now Outperform from Market Perform with Wells Fargo.
 
MakeMyTrip (NASDAQ:MMYT): Oppenheimer moves MMYT to Outperform from Perform with a $28 objective amid impressive e-commerce growth rates in India, among other favorable factors.
 
Regal-Beloit (NYSE:RBC): Shares are raised to Outperform from Neutral by Robert W. Baird.
 
Rolls-Royce (OTCMKTS:RYCEY): What would the Iron Lady, who famously didn't do U-turns, say about this one? Shares in the company she privatized in 1987 are up about 1.04% in London today after an unusual 180-degree (Buy from Sell) upgrade at UBS.
 
Teva Pharmaceutical (NYSE:TEVA): Goldman Sachs takes TEVA to Neutral from Sell. Its price target goes to $52 from $40.
 
Transocean (NYSE:RIG): The oil services outfit increases to Neutral from Sell at Citigroup.
 
Also see:

New Stock Coverage: Stuff Your Money in Mattress Firm Holding

Stock Downgrades: Orbitz Is Heading South in a Hurry

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No positions in stocks mentioned.
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