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Stock Upgrades: Apple Investors Rewarded for Patience of Jobs

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

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Amid another "circus" in Washington, P.T. Barnum was appropriately the only one making money last week, as an erroneous Twitter trade proved once again the accuracy of the ringmaster's most famous phrase. Some stocks did buck a bad tape, with Delta Air Lines (NYSE:DAL), now up 148.42% in a year, finishing Friday at a fresh best having advanced in nine of its past 10 trading sessions. (It's apparently so easy, even a nine-year-old can do it.) Arena Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ:ARNA) imploded 16% on worries over its obesity drug but Potbelly (NASDAQ:PBP) surged 119.79% after going public.

A heroic Medal of Honor recipient, who fought at the Battle of the Bulge, sadly left us, as indeed did an eminent military author. In 1994′s Debt of Honor, Tom Clancy wrote of an airline crashing into the Capitol, preposterous fiction that would become horrifically real seven years later. Eerily, Burlington Stores (NYSE:BURL), whose Coat Factory was located near New York's Ground Zero, rose 47.12% in its stock market debut last week.

Today in economics, August consumer credit is predicted to expand at 3:00 p.m. Eastern. In earnings action, expect Tower Group (NASDAQ:TWGP) to release results.

ABB Ltd (NYSE:ABB): The European industrial giant gets upgraded to Neutral from Underweight at JPMorgan.

Adecco (OTCMKTS:AHEXY): Barclays boosts the stock to Overweight from Equal Weight.

Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL): It is hard to believe that the tech titan's iconic founder left us two years ago already, but Steve Jobs would surely be happy to see his long-suffering outfit apparently on the way back. Today it scores a Buy-from-Hold hoist at Jefferies, whose price objective also increases by $175 to $600. Gross margin improvement gives the broker increased grounds for optimism, and shares are bucking today's terrible overall tape as a result.

BlackBerry (NASDAQ:BBRY): Macquarie moves the tech name to Neutral from Underperform.

Canadian National Railway (NYSE:CNI): Shares are raised to Outperform from Sector Perform at RBC Capital.

Citrix Systems (NASDAQ:CTXS): The tech stock gets taken to Overweight from Equal Weight by Barclays, whose price objective also increases by $8 to $60.

E.ON AG (OTCMKTS:EONGY): BNP Paribas boosts the German utility giant to Outperform from Neutral.

Essex Property Trust (NYSE:ESS): Shares are given a Buy-from-Neutral upgrade at ISI Group.

Hain Celestial (NASDAQ:HAIN): Piper Jaffray juices its rating to Overweight from Neutral.

Infosys (NYSE:INFY): The Indian outsourcer is hoisted to Buy from Hold at BNP Paribas.

Lazard (NYSE:LAZ): Pointing to improving profit margins, Goldman adds its fellow financial firm to its Conviction Buy List from a prior opinion of Neutral.

MarineMax (NYSE:HZO): The aquatic outfit is now Buy from Neutral at B. Riley & Co.

MaxLinear (NYSE:MXL): MXL is moved to Outperform from Market Perform at JMP Securities.

Realogy (NYSE:RLGY): Goldman Sachs gives the property management firm a Buy-from-Neutral upgrade, sending it up ahead of the open.

Signet Jewelers (NYSE:SIG): Shares get upgraded to Buy from Hold at Deutsche Bank.

Tate & Lyle (OTCMKTS:TATYY): Société Générale gives the stock a boost to Buy from Hold.

Team Inc. (NYSE:TISI): TISI is taken to Buy from Hold at BB&T Capital Markets.

Umpqua Holdings (NASDAQ:UMPQ): The regional financial firm is raised to Buy from Neutral at Sterne Agee.

Worthington Industries (NYSE:WOR): KeyBanc Capital Markets moves the metal fabrication firm to Buy from Hold.

XL Group (NYSE:XL): Evercore increases the insurance outfit to Overweight from Equal Weight.

(See also: New Stock Coverage: Facebook, General Electric, and Garmin and Stock Downgrades: IBM, Alcoa, and Qualcomm.)

Disclosure: Minyanville Studios, a division of Minyanville Media, has a business relationship with BlackBerry.
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No positions in stocks mentioned.
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