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Stock Upgrades: Goldman Given a Blankfein Check

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

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In Australia, money now literally grows on trees. Alas, here in America, equities went Down Under and not because the dingo ate my baby, but due to the Caterpillar (NYSE:CAT) that swallowed the canary. The pride of Peoria slumped 6.07% and took Dow Industrials (INDEXDJX:.DJI) down with it. Beleaguered JC Penney (NYSE:JCP) actually surged 7.48% but too late, alas, for billionaire Bill Ackman who lost so much money in the stock he must now travel by bike. (Rather contradicting the results of a recent survey.) Elsewhere, it was a good day for "big and tall guys," with Destination XL Group (NASDAQ:DXLG) gaining 2.76% to a fresh best, and an upgraded Apollo Group (NASDAQ:APOL), which graduated Shaquille O'Neal, advancing 27.98% in its best day ever.

The single busiest session for third quarter earnings is upon us, with Amazon.com (NASDAQ:AMZN), Credit Suisse (NYSE:CS) Dow Chemical (NYSE:DOW), Ericsson (NASDAQ:ERIC), Ford (NYSE:F), Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT), 3M Co (NYSE:MMM) Under Armour (NYSE:UA), Western Digital (NASDAQ:WDC), and Zynga (NASDAQ:ZNGA) all due to announce results.

Agnico-Eagle Mines (NYSE:AEM): AEM is upgraded to Outperform from Perform at BMO Capital Markets.

Canadian Pacific (NYSE:CP): Calling current targets conservative, RBC Capital raises the railroad to Sector Perform from Underperform. Its price objective is increased to $133.

Corning (NYSE:GLW): After yesterday's surge, shares are upgraded to Buy from Hold at Cross Research.

Chesapeake Energy (NYSE:CHK): The energy name is now Buy from Neutral at Citigroup.

Eli Lilly (NYSE:LLY): LLY is lifted to Buy from Neutral at MKM Partners.

French Banks: Bank of America-Merrill Lynch lifts BNP Paribas (OTCMKTS:BNPQY) and Société Générale (OTCMKTS:SCGLY), both now Buy from Neutral.

Goldman Sachs (NYSE:GS): The financial giant and Dow (INDEXDJX:.DJI) member, whose Lloyd Blankfein has just consolidated his grip on power, gets upgraded to Buy from Hold at Deutsche Bank. Shares, snapping a recent slide, are accordingly up as I write.

Ironwood Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ:IRWD): Shares are increased to Outperform from Perform at Cowen.

JAKKS Pacific (NASDAQ:JAKK): The toymaker is taken to Buy from Neutral at B. Riley & Co., whose target increases to $8.50 from $4.50.

Lam Research (NASDAQ:LRCX): LRCX gets lifted to Buy from Neutral at Goldman.

Urban Outfitters (NASDAQ:URBN): Shares are upgraded to Overweight from Neutral at Atlantic Equities.

US Airways (NYSE:LCC) Shares are upgraded to Buy from Hold at Deutsche Bank.

(See also: Stock Downgrades: Caterpillar Still in the Doghouse and New Stock Coverage: This Is Time Warner's Moment in the Sun)
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No positions in stocks mentioned.
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