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Stock Upgrades: Even Without Snow White, Huntsman Is a Fairy Tale


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

(Hat tip to a 2012 fantasy film for today's title.) Huntsman Corporation (NYSE:HUN) stock has been a stellar performer of late, up 40.13% in the past 12 months alone in reaching peaks not seen since October of 2007. The Salt Lake City chemical company was founded by the father of former Utah Governor Jon Huntsman Jr., a once -- and future? -- Republican presidential candidate.
'Lefty' and the financial left are each hogging headlines, and Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) left its wallet in San Francisco, but stocks still started June off right. Although, in the best golfing tradition, Mr. Market still needed a Mickelson-style mulligan as a key manufacturing index demanded a double do-over. Thus did Dow Industrials (INDEXDJX:.DJI) and the S&P 500 Index (INDEXSP:.INX) each rise to records, even as the plus-fours threesome of Icahn Enterprises (NASDAQ:IEP), Callaway (NYSE:ELY), and Clorox (NYSE:CLX) fell 4.01%, 1.50%, and 0.85%, respectively. (The latter clearly has trouble on the green.) As for Apple, it ended off 0.69% after the company's annual Worldwide Developers Conference in the City by the Bay disappointingly made no mention of either a larger iPhone or a smartwatch. Perhaps being short on specifics and leaving 'em guessing is the best approach, however. After all, its event occurred at the Moscone Center where, 30 years ago this summer, Walter Mondale made his intentions crystal clear and promptly lost 49 out of 50 states for his troubles. In analyst action, Alcoa (NYSE:AA) ended up 1.62% after being boosted by the Merrill Lynch unit of Bank of America (NYSE:BAC) that Stan O'Neal once drove to the brink of bankruptcy. Some people really do lead a charmed life.
Today in economics, factory orders for April are expected to contract from the prior month's pace at 10:00 a.m. EDT. On the earnings front, Ascena Retail (NASDAQ:ASNA), Dollar General (NYSE:DG), and FuelCell Energy (NASDAQ:FCEL) all release results.
Now let's analyze this morning's upgrades, a group encompassing energy and financial firms as well as our aforementioned Huntsman Corporation.

BRF S.A. (NYSE:BRSF): Goldman Sachs gives the Brazilian food stock an upgraded to Buy from Neutral.
Broadcom (NASDAQ:BRCM): Shares get an Outperform-from-Neutral boost with Wedbush. Its price objective, previously $30, increases to $43.
China Mobile (NYSE:CHL): The stock is now Buy from Neutral at Nomura.
Devon Energy (NYSE:DVN): Wells Fargo moves the equity to Outperform from Market Perform.
East West Bancorp (NASDAQ:EWBC): The stock is upgraded to Overweight from Equal Weight by Barclays.
Huntsman Corporation: Goldman Sachs adds today's headline stock to its Conviction Buy list.
LIN Media (NYSE:LIN): LIN is lifted to Overweight from Equal Weight at Evercore.
National Bank of Greece (NYSE:NBG): The financial firm is now Buy from Reduce at Nomura.
Synovus Financial (NYSE:SNV): Keefe Bruyette raises its recommendation to Outperform from Market Perform.

Also see:

New Stock Coverage: MeadWestvaco Is a (Trapper) Keeper
Stock Downgrades: Ominous New Wrinkle at Allergan
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