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Stock Upgrades: Friday Night Keg Party at Molson Coors!


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

Firearms firm Smith & Wesson (NASDAQ:SWHC) is slumping 11.76% even as we speak, but the "silver bullet" of Molson Coors Brewing (NYSE:TAP) is poised to enjoy a more profitable morning. The beer behemoth, which yesterday hit an all-time best, gets upgraded on account of improving fundamentals and still-compelling valuation.
Gerry Goffin sadly did not live to see it, but stocks remained "Up on the Roof" thanks to the ongoing effects of his fellow Brooklynite Janet Yellen. The legendary songwriter married Carole King in 1959, and that was where S&P 500 (INDEXSP:.INX) shares ended up as the benchmark bourse rose to a second straight record. The Dow (INDEXDJX:.DJI), now up for five consecutive sessions, isn't doing too badly either, and yesterday saw several notable winners. American Apparel (NYSEMKT:APP) surged some 6.72%, which admittedly sounds less impressive when you realize that took it to all of 68 cents. The company's now-ex CEO Dov Charney was once taken to court by Woody Allen, whose Blue Jasmine continued the Tinseltown tradition of sadistic dentists. (And why not, with Sirona Dental Systems (NASDAQ:SIRO) having just advanced a satanic 0.66% to the highest level its entire history?) The billionaire barbarians of ISIS were stopped just short of Baghdad even as Isis Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ:ISIS), which jumped 10.63% last week, ended up another 3.23%. Not all equities enjoyed identical ebullience. Pacific Sunwear of California (NASDAQ:PSUN) tumbled 2.10% with its hip image not helped by a shady septuagenarian bond king doing his best Blues Brothers imitation in -- appropriately enough -- Chicago. Elsewhere, it was time to face the music and dance for Violin Memory (NYSE:VMEM), which slid 7.64% even as a prized Stradivarius spectacularly failed to sell at auction. And an ex-Goldman Sachs (NYSE:GS) employee endured fully merited scorn for complaining that his poor bonus was $5 million less than expected. Moving from Mr. Salem to a witch hunt, this is indeed a "quadruple witching" Friday, so expect an uptick in volatility.
Elsewhere, the economic calendar is quiet but Carmax (NYSE:KMX) and Darden Restaurants (NYSE:DRI) each released quarterly earnings earlier this morning.
Now let's analyze this morning's analyst upgrades, a group that includes a surging supermarket stock as our aforementioned Molson Coors Brewing.

AutoNation (NYSE:AN): Shares get upgraded to Buy from Neutral at Goldman Sachs.
Domtar (NYSE:UFS): The stock is now Neutral from Sell at Citigroup.
Kroger (NYSE:KR): Goldman Sachs gives the grocery giant, which gained an S&P 500-best 5.06% yesterday, a Neutral-from-Sell upgrade.
Medtronic (NYSE:MDT): The week began with a broker boost for this medical device outfit, and it ends with one. Today shares are taken to Buy from Hold at Jefferies. Its price objective, previously $60, increases by $15.
Molson Coors Brewing: Morgan Stanley moves this morning's headline stock to Equal Weight from Underweight.
Penske Automotive (NYSE:PAG): Goldman gives the equity an upgrade to Neutral from Sell.

Also see:

New Stock Coverage: Deckers Outdoor a Wall Street Wolf in Sheepskin Clothing
Stock Downgrades: It's Zero Dark Thirty for Oracle, Whose Longest Day Begins 24 Hours Early
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No positions in stocks mentioned.
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