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Stock Upgrades: Hitch a Ride on Hawaiian Holdings


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

Was that teenage stowaway who somehow survived at 80 degrees below zero at 38,000 feet while stuck in the wheel well of a Hawaiian Airlines Boeing (NYSE:BA) 767 trying to tell us something? Yesterday Boeing gained 2.41% in topping the Dow (INDEXDJX:.DJI), and Hawaiian Airlines owner Hawaiian Holdings (NASDAQ:HA) surged 6.87% to the highest level in its history. Today the aviation outfit could fly even higher after scoring a broker boost.
Talk about getting Wall Street's goat. On the day Chicago's Wrigley Field celebrated its centenary, its accursed barnyard animal appeared to put a hex on equities, with the S&P 500 (INDEXSP:.INX) falling for the first time in seven sessions. (Although, given Mark Zuckerberg's history of killing Billy's brethren, our four-legged friend better watch out. Especially with Facebook (NASDAQ:FB) up 3.98% before this morning's opening bell.) Moving from goats to throats, Carl Icahn wet his whistle with a martini on national television because "my throat's just so f#!king dry." And why not? As his arch enemy Bill Ackman can attest, anyone can whistle(blow) -- even with the bee-stung lips that Botox owner Allergan (NYSE:AGN) specializes in. Yesterday, Ackman's acquisition target saw its stock rise another 1.22% to an historic high after a ratings increase.

This is the single busiest day for first-quarter earnings announcements, with the heavyweight likes of Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN), Caterpillar (NYSE:CAT), Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT), and Starbucks (NASDAQ:SBUX) among a multitude of companies releasing results.
Now let's turn to this morning's analyst upgrades, a group that encompasses a rejuvenated tech darling as well as our aforementioned Hawaiian Holdings.

Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL): The stock, surging 8.53% ahead of the open after its earnings beat Street estimates, is increased to Buy from Outperform at Credit Agricole.
Asbury Automotive (NYSE:ABG): BB&T Capital boosts the company to Buy from Hold.
Ciena (NYSE:CIEN): Shares are now Buy from Neutral at UBS. Its target price, previously $25, increases by $2.
Cullen/Frost Bankers (NYSE:CFR): Keefe Bruyette moves the financial firm to Perform from Underperform.
Ericsson (NASDAQ:ERIC): The Swedish telecom titan gets taken to Outperform from Perform by BMO Capital.
Goodyear Tire (NASDAQ:GT): Goldman Sachs gives the equity a Conviction Buy-from-Buy upgrade.
Hawaiian Holdings: Bank of America Merrill Lynch lifts the aviation outfit to Neutral from Underperform.
M&T Bank (NYSE:MTB): Shares are hoisted to Buy from Hold at Deutsche Bank.
MicroStrategy (NASDAQ:MSTR): MSTR is moved to Buy from Hold, again at Deutsche Bank. The price objective also increases, to $150 from $130.
NuStar Energy (NYSE:NS): Stifel lifts the limited partnership to Buy from Hold with a $62 target amid impressive results in the company's Fuels Marketing segment.
O'Reilly Automotive (NASDAQ:ORLY): Raymond James raises its recommendation to Strong Buy from Buy.
Republic Airways (NASDAQ:RJET): Bank of America Merrill Lynch moves the equity to Neutral from Underperform.
Scotts Miracle-Gro (SMG): Shares are adding on 1.11% at the moment after being boosted to Outperform from Perform by BMO.
Southwest Bancorp (NASDAQ:OKSB): Raymond James juices its rating to Outperform from Perform.
Telekom Austria (OTCMKTS:TKAGY): The stock is taken to Neutral from Underweight at JP Morgan.
TriQuint Semiconductor (NASDAQ:TQNT): Shares get upgraded to Outperform from Market Perform at Northland Capital.

Also see:

New Stock Coverage: EMC, One of the Internet's Fabled 'Four Horsemen,' Is Off to the Races

Stock Downgrades: Call Me Maybe? AT&T Hears Only Static on the Line
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