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Stock Upgrades: DuPont Regains Its Teflon Touch


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

October 24 does not have a happy history on Wall Street - 1929 and all that - but, helped by a car company whose founder famously said "history is bunk," stocks bounced back from Wednesday's wobble to end up. Ford's (NYSE:F) 1.37% post-earnings increase to a multi-year peak set the tone for several upbeat quarterly reports. The S&P 500 Index (INDEXSP:.INX) is thus up in six of its past seven sessions, even as nine lives expired elsewhere. Fat cats were thin on the ground as Arctic Cat (NASDAQ:ACAT) tumbled 12.81% and strong Caterpillar (NYSE:CAT) followed Wednesday's 6.07% slide by incurring a rating reduction. Adding to the angst for our feline friends, Goldman Sachs (NYSE:GS) - no fan of cute cuddly kittens - gained 1.41% on a broker boost. Elsewhere, Ma Bell met her match in an irate Angela Merkel, with AT&T Inc. (NYSE:T) imploding 1.84% as telecoms were the sole sector to end in the red. And, if Fenway will forgive the phrase, Boston Scientific (NYSE:BSX) dropped the ball, sliding 6.10% after issuing iffy earnings guidance. Fear not, Beantown, for pairing Ugg boots with Red Sox should still keep you in the green; Tom Brady's Deckers Outdoor (NASDAQ:DECK) is surging some 13.77% this morning.

Today in economics, at 9:55 a.m. Eastern the University of Michigan's final figure for October consumer confidence is forecast to slip ever so slightly from its preliminary reading earlier in the month. On the corporate front, a frenetic first full week for quarterly earnings announcements finishes with Moody's (NYSE:MCO), National-Oilwell Varco (NYSE:NOV), Procter & Gamble (NYSE:PG), Samsung Electronics (OTCMKTS:SSNLF), Sherwin-Williams (NYSE:SHW), and United Parcel Service (NYSE:UPS) all due to release results.

Advance Auto Parts (NYSE:AAP): Shares get upgraded to Outperform at RBC Capital. (NASDAQ:AMZN): Shares, surging before the bell, are upgraded to Strong Buy from Perform at Raymond James.

Brinker International (NYSE:EAT): The fast food firm is hoisted to Buy from Hold with Wunderlich.

Callaway Golf (NYSE:ELY): ELY is now Buy from Neutral at DA Davidson

Career Education (NASDAQ:CECO): Shares are moved to Outperform from Market Perform with Wells Fargo.

Colgate-Palmolive (NYSE:CL): Canaccord Genuity gives the consumer products powerhouse a Hold-from-Sell boost.

Columbia Sportswear (NASDAQ:COLM): The stock is now Neutral from Sell at Citigroup.

Constant Contact (NASDAQ:CTCT): Shares are now Buy from Hold at Needham.

DuPont (NYSE:DD): Citigroup gives the chemical company, a key Dow (INDEXDJX:.DJI) component, a Buy-from-Neutral boost, sending shares up ahead of the open.

Ford Motor (NYSE:F): Shares, which hit a multi-year higher yesterday, are upgraded to Outperform from Underperform at Crédit Agricole.

Hasbro (NASDAQ:HAS): The toy maker is taken to Perform from Underperform by BMO Capital.

ITT Educational (NYSE:ESI): ESI is now Neutral from Sell with an increased price objective at Compass Point, which cites two successive quarters of improved expense control.

Monolithic Power (NASDAQ:MPWR): Oppenheimer moves MPWR to Outperform from Perform.

Sony (NYSE:SNE): Credit Suisse juices the Japanese consumer electronics giant to Outperform from Neutral.

(See also: New Stock Coverage: Disney Is the Mouse That Roared and Stock Downgrades: Cash Registers Stop Ringing at NCR Corp)
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