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Stock Upgrades: H&M Won't Lose Its Shirt With David Beckham

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

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The Lipstick Index and S&P 500 Index (INDEXSP:.INX) each looked in vain for a little mouth-to-mouth resuscitation, with Estee Lauder (NYSE:EL) falling 5.54% and the benchmark US bourse ending off for a third time in four sessions. Markets went nowhere fast as private payrolls came in worse than expected even as a service-sector gauge beat Street expectations. (So much for those well-compensated economic forecasters. They're only human, and can't hold a candle to the so far spot-on predictive powers of Punxsutawney Phil.) Moving from candles to candelabras, Time Warner (NYSE:TWX) advanced 1.11% after breaking out the financials for its HBO division for the first time. The results revealed that a kinder, gentler Gordon Gekko boosted its bottom line in a big way. Something for President Putin to ponder as he prepares to have a gay old time in Sochi. Gray old time? Gray Television (NYSE:GTN) gained another 4.52% on a broker boost and is now up an astonishing 162.17% in the past year, although if Vlad the Impaler doesn't own it, his portfolio is still doing okay. In Mad Men, Don Draper famously refused to take business from big tobacco and President Obama, who gave a remarkable shout-out to the show in his recent State of the Union speech, yesterday praised CVS Caremark (NYSE:CVS) for doing the same. Alas, shareholders appeared to worry more about principal than principle, and sent shares down 1.01%. Ralph Lauren (NYSE:RL) lost 3.55% but Lauren Conrad fared far better, as her sharp-as-a-needle retort to an inappropriate question on Sirius XM (NASDAQ:SIRI) received belated recognition. Sirius could indeed use her as CEO after its unloved stock tumbled 2.56%.

Today's earnings announcements are due to include AOL Inc (NYSE:AOL), Dunkin Brands (NASDAQ:DNKN), General Motors (NYSE:GM), Kellogg (NYSE:K), LinkedIn (NYSE:LNKD), Lions Gate (NYSE:LGF), News Corp (NASDAQ:NWSA), Nu Skin (NYSE:NUS), Sanofi (NYSE:SNY), and Sony (NYSE:SNE).

Akamai Technologies (NASDAQ:AKAM): Shares are now Neutral from Underperform at Credit Suisse.

American Express (NYSE:AXP): Janney Capital juices this key Dow component to Buy from Neutral.

Booz Allen Hamilton (NYSE:BAH): Bank of America-Merrill Lynch lifts the consulting company to Buy from Neutral.

Boyd Gaming (NYSE:BYD): The stock is moved to Outperform from Market Perform at FBR Capital, whose price objective is $11.35. Free cash flow is seen as increasing at the casino company.

Buffalo Wild Wings (NASDAQ:BWLD): Citing an increasingly attractive valuation, Miller Tabak boosts BWLD to Buy from Hold. For more on the stock, please see here.

Carnival (NYSE:CCL): HSBC Securities hoists the cruise company to Overweight from Neutral, not its first upgrade in recent weeks. The target price, previously $33, is taken to $43.50.

Coty Inc (NYSE:COTY): Shares, having slumped to all-time lows of late, are increased to Outperform from Market Perform with Wells Fargo.

Crown Holdings (NYSE:CCK): Wells also moves this equity to Outperform from Market Perform.

DuPont (NYSE:DD): The Dow component is now Neutral from Reduce at SunTrust.

Glu Mobile (NASDAQ:GLUU): Piper Jaffray gives GLUU an Overweight-from-Neutral upgrade.

Green Mountain Coffee Roasters (NASDAQ:GMCR): Shares, surging 41.57% ahead of this morning's opening bell on a tie up with Coca-Cola (NYSE:KO), are hoisted to Hold from Sell at Stifel.

Hennes & Mauritz (OCTMKTS:HNNMY): The Swedish fashion firm better known as H&M made a big splash on Super Bowl Sunday with a barely-there Becks, but its stock is far from an emperor without clothes. Today it is taken to Overweight from Neutral at HSBC Securities, sending shares up nicely in today's European trading.

Lennar (NYSE:LEN): Goldman Sachs gives LEN a lift to Conviction Buy from Neutral.

Mettler-Toledo (NYSE:MTD): MTD gets taken to Buy from Neutral at UBS, which also increases its objective by $18 to $263.

Mosaic (NYSE:MOS): HSBC Securities moves MOS to Neutral from Underweight.

Veeco Instruments (NASDAQ:VECO): The tech name is now Overweight from Neutral at JP Morgan.

Yelp Inc (NYSE:YELP): Raymond James raises its recommendation to Outperform from Market Perform.

See also:

Stock Downgrades: Flock of Analysts Flip the Bird at Twitter

New Stock Coverage: Nielsen Wins Big in the Ratings
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No positions in stocks mentioned.
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