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Stock Upgrades: Do You Yahoo? It May Be Time To

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

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There's no keeping Yahoo (NASDAQ:YHOO) out of the headlines at the moment. Yesterday, shares rose 1.75% on a broker boost, and this afternoon the tech titan announces its earnings after the closing bell. Today Yahoo, fresh from inking an expanded music video deal with Vevo, gets upgraded by Macquarie. The broker, saying shares are increasingly attractive following a recent retrenchment, believes investors should add to positions ahead of an eagerly anticipated initial public offering of Alibaba.
 
As for Monday's market action, sometime between True Blood and a blood moon, Nasdaq (INDEXNASDAQ:.IXIC) finally managed to stop the bleeding. On the anniversary of one of its worst-ever days, the tech-heavy index bounced back from its worst week since 2012. With Don Draper and his smoke-filled rooms back in (and on) the air, British American Tobacco (NYSEMKT:BTI) gained 1.81% to hit the highest level in its history. This as BP Plc (NYSE:BP) -- which did its bit to send British-American relations up in smoke -- advanced on an analyst upgrade. And Facebook (NASDAQ:FB) -- a rare bright spot to park your money in last week's market mayhem, with its 3.1% increase -- is banking on more of the same.
 
Today's quarterly earnings announcements include Coca-Cola (NYSE:KO), Johnson & Johnson (NYSE:JNJ), Intel (NASDAQ:INTC), and Infosys (NYSE:INFY).
 
Now let's turn to this morning's analyst upgrades, an eclectic array that includes clothing, cosmetics, and credit card companies in addition to Yahoo.

Basic Energy Services (NYSE:BAS): BAS gets a Hold-from-Sell boost with Wunderlich, whose price objective also increases by $8 to $27. Fundamentals for natural gas are expected to improve, the broker believes.
 
Carlisle (NASDAQ:CG): FBR Capital lifts the limited partnership to Outperform from Market Perform.
 
Chico's FAS (NYSE:CHS): Shares are moved to Outperform from Market Perform with a $19 target price at FBR Capital, which says same-store-sales comparisons are becoming increasingly favorable.
 
Citigroup (NYSE:C): The stock, up 4.36% on Monday, get taken to Outperform from Perform by Sanford Bernstein. The target is also taken up, to $57 from $52.
 
Credit Card Companies: A second upgrade of this still embryonic week for both MasterCard (NYSE:MA) and Visa (NYSE:V), each now Buy from Neutral at Janney.
 
Estee Lauder (NYSE:EL): Shares, boosted only one week ago, today get added to the Conviction Buy list at Goldman Sachs.
 
General Cable (NYSE:BGC): Longbow gives the company a Buy-from-Neutral upgrade.
 
Morgan Stanley (NYSE:MS): Shares are up 2.61% as we speak on a boost to Buy from Neutral by Bank of America Merrill Lynch.
 
New York & Co (NYSE:NWY): The small-cap company is now Buy from Neutral at Janney, which cites spring product lines and prospects for margin expansion.
 
Pier 1 Imports (NYSE:PIR): Shares get increased to Overweight from Equal Weight by Barclays. The price objective, previously $19, is now $23.
 
Qlik Technologies (NASDAQ:QLIK): Mizuho moves the stock to Buy from Neutral with a new $32 target amid an increasingly attractive risk-reward ratio.
 
Sealed Air (NYSE:SEE): The stock is taken to Outperform from Neutral at Macquarie, whose amended price objective is $36.
 
Veeco (NASDAQ:VECO): Berenberg boosts the tech name to Buy from Hold.
 
Yahoo: Shares are showing strength this morning, this on the back of an Outperform-from-Neutral upgrade at Macquarie. The price target is also taken higher, to $40 from $37.50.

Also see:

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Stock Downgrades:
Wal-Mart Hits Brick Wall
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No positions in stocks mentioned.
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