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Stock Upgrades: Party On, Red Sox Nation. Boston Beer Gets a Boost


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

Even as clocks went back, the Daylight Savings of investors plumped up. Dow Industrials (INDEXDJX:.DJI) advanced 0.29% as US markets rose to new records. And, while we lost an hour of sun, a surging First Solar (NASDAQ:FSLR) - up 12.01% on the week - will keep the light on for you. October, often awful in equities, saw stocks gain 5% as time was turned back to the "irrational exuberance" of the 1990s. No, with Dell (NASDAQ:DELL) - the decade's top stock - disappearing, that analogy is past imperfect. We are really returning to the Roaring '20s, partying again after a dire decade of war. (That era did not end well but boy, while the party raged, what a swell shindig it was.) German American Bancorp (NASDAQ:GABC) jumped some 7.50% so Angela, call me maybe? Cosmetics company Avon Products (NYSE:AVP) slumped 17% even as it emerged notorious Lipstick Building tenant Mr. Madoff was never any good at math. Now they tell us.

In terms of events that may move markets today, at 10:00 a.m. Eastern August and September factory orders are each released. On the earnings front, several specific stocks could be impacted by quarterly earnings announcements. These include Anadarko Petroleum (NYSE:APC), CF Industries (NYSE:CF), Goodrich Petroleum (NYSE:GDP), Hertz (NYSE:HTZ), HSBC Holdings (NYSE:HBC), Kellogg (NYSE:K), Marathon Oil (NYSE:MRO), Office Depot (NYSE:ODP), OfficeMax (NYSE:OMX), Pioneer Natural Resources (NYSE:PXD), Plains All American Pipeline (NYSE:PAA), and Tenet Healthcare (NYSE:THC).

Abercrombie & Fitch (NYSE:ANF): The clothing company is now Buy from Neutral at SunTrust Robinson Humphrey.

Alcatel-Lucent (NYSE:ALU): BNP Paribas boosts the telecom titan to Neutral from Underperform.

Boston Beer (NYSE:SAM): All this and a World Series, too? Boston Beer is boosted to Outperform from Perform at Williams Capital Group. Catalysts include revenue growth and a good buying opportunity after recent weakness. Its price objective for Boston Beer, previously $210, increases to $263.

BP Plc (NYSE:BP): The British oil giant, which rose 7.5% last week, is upgraded to Equal-Weight from Underweight at Morgan Stanley.

BT Group (NYSE:BT): Staying in England, the telecom outfit is lifted to Overweight from Neutral at HSBC Securities. Last week shares surged 5.4%

Fertilizer Stocks: Agrium (NYSE:AGU) is upgraded to Overweight from Neutral at HSBC Securities, which hoists Potash (NYSE:POT) to Neutral from Underweight ($31 target), and takes Sociedad Quimica y Minera (NYSE:SQM) to Neutral from Underweight.

Kohl's Corp (NYSE:KSS): UBS raises the retailer to Buy from Neutral.

Omnicom (NYSE:OMC): Advertising giant Omnicom gets increased by BMO Capital to Outperform-from-Perform boost. Over the past 12 months, Omincom shares are up an impressive 40.29%.

Occidental Petroleum (NYSE:OXY): Shares are now Overweight from Equal Weight by Barclays.

Royal Bank of Scotland (NYSE:RBS): French firm Société Générale raises its fellow financial to Hold from Sell.

Ruth's Hospitality Group (NASDAQ:RUTH): Raymond James takes the steakhouse to Perform from Underperform. (NYSE:CRM): The stock is now Overweight from Neutral at Atlantic Equities.

Steel Stocks: Steel Dynamics (NASDAQ:STLD) gets upgraded to Buy from Neutral at Goldman Sachs, which gives an unusual 180 degree (Buy from Sell) upgrade to larger competitor US Steel (NYSE:X). Each equity is up ahead of this morning's opening bell as a result.

Time Warner Cable (NYSE:TWC): Time Warner Cable is taken to Buy from Hold at Deutsche Bank. Over the past 52-weeks, Time Warner Cable is up 25.81%, having hit a fresh peak last week.

(See also: New Stock Coverage: Save the Last Dance for SFX Entertainment and Stock Downgrades: Aflac's Duck Dynasty Is Over)
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