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Stock Upgrades: Unloved at Home, Apple Will Always Have Paris


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

In the week said a sad goodbye to the man behind the Gummy Bear, the bull quite literally came roaring back. Dow (INDEXDJX:.DJI) industrials advanced 1.07% as our politicians finally ended the 17th government shutdown since 1976, an unimaginably distant age when vinyl records ruled and New York's Giants were pygmies. Governmental gridlock saw squirrels overrun the White House lawn but Nasdaq (INDEXNASDAQ:.IXIC) jumped 3.23% to again outperform, so its own problematic squirrels can't be accused of inflicting any lasting damage on the index. This as the rodent got a French bank into awfully hot water, while its beleaguered American counterpart breathed a sigh of relief for having "squirreled away $23 billion for settlements." Elsewhere Chipotle Mexican Grill (NYSE:CMG) surged 14.91% as the USA, not content with helping its southern neighbors on the fútbol field, now buy more tortillas and salsa than hamburger buns and ketchup. This as Mexico, whose world's richest man answers to the name of Slim, tries to tackle its swelling obesity epidemic.

Today in economics, analysts expect October existing home sales to slip from September's pace at 10:00 a.m. Eastern. On the corporate front, peak earnings week is upon us, with today's announcements due to include Discover Financial Services (NYSE:DFS), Halliburton (NYSE:HAL), Hasbro (NYSE:HAS), McDonald's (NYSE:MCD), Netflix (NASDAQ:NFLX), Philips Electronics (NYSE:PHG), Texas Instruments (NASDAQ:TXN), and VMWare (NYSE:VMW).

AngloGold Ashanti (NYSE:AU): UBS increases the South African commodity company to Neutral from Sell.

Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL): Play it again, (Uncle) Sam. Shares in the tech titan have nose-dived 19.56% in the past year, but are today taken to Buy from Hold at Paris-based Société Générale. The French financial firm cites solid sales momentum for the new iPhone 5S and 5C.

ArcelorMittal (NYSE:MT): The steel stock, owned by Europe's richest man, is showing strength ahead of the open after getting upgraded to Buy from Hold at Deutsche Bank.

Archer-Daniels Midland (NYSE:ADM): Bank of America-Merrill Lynch increases ADM an unusual 180 degrees, to Buy from Underperform.

Bunge (NYSE:BG): The agribusiness outfit may indeed jump after getting a Buy-from-Neutral boost at Bank of America-Merrill.

Dean Foods (NYSE:DF): America's largest dairy processor gets moved to Outperform from Perform by BMO Capital Markets.

General Electric (NYSE:GE): Citibank adds the stock, which finished at fresh five-year highs on Friday, to its US Focus List of favored equities after an earnings beat that the bank says was "impressive."

Horizon Pharma (NASDAQ:HZPN): Piper Jaffray juices the stock, up impressively in today's pre-market trading, to Overweight from Neutral.

L Brands (NYSE:LTD): The Victoria's Secret owner is upgraded to Positive from Neutral at Susquehanna.

Parker-Hannifin (NYSE:PH): Lauding the firm's improvement in margins, Robert W. Baird takes the stock to Outperform from Neutral. Its price objective, previously $101, increases to $122. (NYSE:CRM): Shares are up about 3.03% as I write after an upgrade to Strong Buy from Outperform at Raymond James.

Town Sports International (NASDAQ:CLUB): Shares are now Outperform from Neutral with Wedbush.

(See also: Stock Downgrades: Bad Day for Goodyear and New Stock Coverage: Activision Blizzard Set to Party Up a Storm)
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