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Stock Upgrades: Facebook Doesn't Need Botox to Look Beautiful


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

An antiwrinkle treatment will dominate the day, but Facebook (NASDAQ:FB) -- as unhip as it may be among Snapchatting adolescents -- certainly isn't showing its age. The stock, up impressively yesterday, is advancing another 2.09% as we speak after getting a broker boost. Today's Wall Street Journal ("Facebook Plans Mobile-Ad Network") says the firm is embarking on a fresh push to monetize its billion-plus user base with marketers. Facebook is due to announce earnings on April 23.
As for Monday's market action, stocks -- although, alas, not Justin Bieber -- headed north. (Well, some did. Taco Bell owner Yum Brands (NYSE:YUMmade a run for our southern border, slipping 0.43% on a rating reduction.) Nasdaq (INDEXNASDAQ:.IXIC) ended up for a fifth successive session, and the ebullience wasn't confined to sexy tech names. Stodgy consumer staple Avon (NYSE:AVP)
advanced an impressive 2.41%. It bills itself as "the company for women," and an astonishing photo showed just how far the fair sex has come in Latin America, long the last bastion of machismo. "Vanity, thy name is woman," to (mis)quote Shakespeare? Maybe, but us guys are just as concerned with keeping up appearances. Bill Ackman's oddly dark eyebrows -- they really are to dye for -- stand in stark contrast to his head of gray hair. Today the billionaire is sending Botox owner Allergan (NYSE:AGN) up 19.95% before the opening bell. My Little Pony parent Hasbro (NASDAQ:HAS), up 1.92%, hit the highest level in its history. Girls toy sales jumped 21%, even as boys' toy sales rose only 2%. Where middle-aged men factor into the equation is unclear.
Today in economics, March existing homes sales are expected to slip from February's pace at 10:00 a.m. EDT. Another full day for first-quarter earnings announcements sees AT&T Inc. (NYSE:T), Intuitive Surgical (NASDAQ:ISRG), and McDonald's (NYSE:MCD) all release results.
Now let's turn to this morning's analyst upgrades, a group that encompasses a home improvement name and commodity company, as well as our aforementioned Facebook.

AstraZeneca (NYSE:AZN): The stock, which just jumped 8.84% to an historic high, gets upgraded to Buy from Neutral at Citigroup.
Barrick Gold (NYSE:ABX): Goldman Sachs gives the commodity company an upgrade to Buy from Neutral.
Facebook: Shares in the social networking name are now Outperform from Neutral at Credit Suisse. Its price objective, previously $65, increases to $87.
Home Depot (NYSE:HD): The Dow (INDEXDJX:.DJI) member, whose shares are trading at half-decade highs, is hoisted to Outperform from Perform by BMO Capital. Its target price is $80.
Intuit (NASDAQ:INTU): April 15 is over, but Evercore increases the TurboTax owner to Equal Weight from Underweight.
National Bank of Greece (NYSE:NBG): Bank of America Merrill Lynch lifts its fellow financial firm to Neutral from Underperform.
NASDAQ OMX Group (NASDAQ:NDAQ): The exchange operator gets upgraded to Outperform from Neutral at Credit Suisse, which also takes its target up by $2 to $42.
Netflix (NASDAQ:NFLX): You would have been better off buying it at a cheaper price point last week, but better late than never. The streaming name is now Buy from Hold ($425 price objective) at Cantor Fitzgerald and Outperform from Perform at Raymond James. Shares are currently surging some 6.82% as we speak after last year's top S&P 500 Index (INDEXSP:.INX) stock reported impressive earnings.
Norwegian Cruise Line (NASDAQ:NCLH): Goldman Sachs gives the cruise company a Buy-from-Neutral boost.
Royal KPN (OTCMKTS:KKPNY): Shares get upgraded to Buy from Hold at Societe Generale.
Ruth's Hospitality Group (RUTH): Raymond James raises its recommendation to Outperform from Perform.
Summit Midstream Partners (NYSE:SMLP): The limited partnership is lifted to Buy from Neutral at Goldman. Its price objective also increases, to $52 from $43.
Volvo (OTCMKTS:VOLVY): Shares get upgraded to Outperform from Neutral by Robert W. Baird, which says it has the best long-term risk/reward ratio in the truck industry.

Also see:

New Stock Coverage: Ruckus Wireless Ready to Make Some Noise

Stock Downgrades: A Money Tree No More, Zillow Weeps Like a Willow
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