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Stock Upgrades: You Can't Stem the Rising Tide at Celgene

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

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It may be tempting fate, especially in a trading week that ominously ends on Friday the 13th, but yesterday Wall Street was inspired by a film from its annus horribilis of 1987. Released but one month after that year's crash, Planes, Trains and Automobiles was a box office favorite, and yesterday it also proved a pretty profitable trading strategy. US markets rose to records, ably assisted by an analyst-inspired 2.71% advance in debut stock American Airlines (NASDAQ:AAL), a broker boost propelling FreightCar America (NASDAQ:RAIL) 5.67% higher, and General Motors (NYSE:GM) gaining 1.82% to a post-restructuring peak. Even as the S&P 500 Index (INDEXSP:.INX) reached a new high, not all equities benefited from the rising tide. Abercrombie & Fitch (NYSE:ANF) tumbled 2.21% after renewing the $1.5 million salary of its endlessly controversial CEO. With the stock having slumped 29% this year some thought he should be canned but there was fat chance of that. At least the head of Lululemon Athletica (NASDAQ:LULU), having similarly rubbed customers (specifically their thighs) the wrong way, is stepping down.

In terms of economic events that may move US markets this morning, October wholesale trade inventories are released at 10:00 a.m. Eastern. Regarding specific stocks, expect earnings announcements out of Autozone (NYSE:AZO), Burlington Stores (NYSE:BURL), H&R Block (NYSE:HRB), HD Supply Holdings (NASDAQ:HDS), Leidos Holdings (NYSE:LDOS), Smith & Wesson (NASDAQ:SWHC), and Toll Brothers (NYSE:TOL).

Antofagasta (OTCMKTS:ANFGY): The copper miner gets moved to Neutral from Underperform at Credit Suisse.

Ariad Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ:ARIA): Stifel boosts the stock to Buy from Hold.

Blackhawk Network (NASDAQ:HAWK): Shares are now Buy from Neutral at Citigroup. Its amended price objective is $27.

Celgene (NASDAQ:CELG): Biotech stock Celgene, a market leader in stem-cell drugs, has surged 116.08% in the past year. There is more good news for it today, as Credit Suisse raises its recommendation to Outperform from Neutral.

Geron (NASDAQ:GERN): GERN gets upgraded to Buy from Hold at Needham, whose target price is $10. Geron shares are surging some 13.95% as I write this article, after the company presented Phase II data for imetelstat in myelofibrosis patients at the American Society for Hematology.

Harman International (NYSE:HAR): Shares are moved to Outperform from Market Perform with Wells Fargo.

Hellenic Telecom (OTCMKTS:HLTOY): JPMorgan gives the Greek phone firm an Overweight-from-Neutral upgrade.

Johnson Controls (NYSE:JCI): Johnson Controls is taken to Top Pick from Outperform at RBC Capital, whose price objective is $61. The stock is seen as an ongoing, and increasingly impressive, turnaround story.

PerkinElmer (NYSE:PKI): The stock is now Outperform from Neutral at Macquarie.

Royal Dutch Shell (NYSE:RDS.A): JPMorgan moves the European oil giant to Neutral from Underweight.

United Rentals (NYSE:URI): Amid solid operating fundamentals, the stock gets upgraded to Top Pick from Outperform at RBC Capital. Its target, previously $72, increases to $85.

Vivendi: (OTCMKTS:VIVHY): Shares are trading higher in Europe today on the back of a Buy-from-Hold boost by Deutsche Bank.

(See also: New Stock Coverage: Papa John's Just Hit the Mother Lode and Stock Downgrades: Grim Prognosis for Quest Diagnostics)
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