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Stock Upgrades: Intel Proves Only the Paranoid Survive

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

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The Fed's Richard Fisher spent Tuesday talking about "beer goggles," but most investors sure didn't see it that way. Not when Google (NASDAQ:GOOG), home of the X-ray specs "Glasshole," jumped 2.35% to hit a historic high and Regeneron Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ:REGN), boosted by its top-selling eye drug Eylea, ended up 11.78% in topping the entire S&P 500 Index (INDEXSP:.INX). No, this was a day to reach for the rose-tinted glasses, which Wall Street is always only too happy to do. The Dow (INDEXDJX:.DJI) broke out of a four-session skid as US stock markets enjoyed their best session of this still-embryonic year. Twenty-twenty vision was important on a day the most famous author in finance turned a fresh page. This, as Capitol Hill lawmakers, clearly well-versed in speed-reading, rolled out a 1,500-page spending bill that they had all of one and a half days to skim. For quick bucks, far better to stick with Facebook (NASDAQ:FB), which gained 3.27% on a broker boost. Similarly upbeat analyst action also assisted the aforementioned Google, which just bought a thermostat maker for $3.2 billion. (Never mind that we all know they are just for show.) And, a century to the day after Ford Motor's (NYSE:F) Model T got off the ground, the Model S of Tesla Motors (NASDAQ:TSLA) proved a worthy heir after that stock surged 15.74%.

In terms of economic events that may move US stock markets today, at 2:00 p.m. Eastern the Fed releases its Beige Book detailing regional financial conditions in a dozen districts. Regarding specific stocks, expect earnings announcements out of Bank of America (NYSE:BAC), CSX Corporation (NYSE:CSX), Fastenal (NASDAQ:FAST), and Kinder Morgan Inc. (NYSE:KMI) as the pace of quarterly reporting season picks up.

Anglo American (OTCMKTS:AAUKF): The commodity company is trading up nicely overseas today on the back of a Buy-from-Neutral boost at UBS.

Comcast Corporation (NASDAQ:CMCSA): Morgan Stanley moves Comcast Corporation stock to Overweight from Equal Weight amid the potential for sector consolidation, among other favorable factors.

Dick's Sporting Goods (NYSE:DKS): Dick's Sporting Goods stock is now Outperform from Neutral at Credit Suisse.

E.ON (OTCMKTS:EONGY): HSBC Securities hoists the German electricity giant to Neutral from Underweight.

Hercules Technology (NYSE:HTGC): HTGC gets hoisted to Buy from Hold with an $18 price objective at Wunderlich, which cites its impressive prospects in the private equity and venture capital arena.

Intel (NASDAQ:INTC): Intel's ex-CEO Andy Grove once wrote a book called Only The Paranoid Survive, and that would appear to be a profitable strategy for the tech titan. Even amid fears over the death of the personal-computer industry, yesterday its stock rode a broker boost to gain a Dow-best 3.96%. Today, shares are advancing again after getting taken to Outperform from Perform by BMO Capital. Its target price, previously $21, increases by $10.

Lazard (NYSE:LAZ): Raymond James lifts LAZ to Strong Buy from an already upbeat Outperform. The objective also increases, to $54 from $47.

Robert Half International (NYSE:RHI): The staffing stock is now Buy from Neutral at SunTrust.

Sovran Self Storage (NYSE:SSS): Cantor Fitzgerald raises its rating to Hold from Sell.

Synnex (NYSE:SNX): The business services stock, which surged 4.19% yesterday, is now Buy from Neutral at Citigroup.

Telefônica Brasil (NYSE:VIV): Shares are taken to Overweight from Equal Weight with HSBC Securities.

Western Digital (NASDAQ:WDC): The data storage devices outfit gets upgraded to Outperform from Sector Perform at Pacific Crest.

Xilinx (NASDAQ:XLNX): Barclays increases the tech name to Overweight from Equal Weight. Its target is now $54, up from $44.


See also:

New Stock Coverage: Say "G'Day" To Morgan Stanley

Stock Downgrades: ExOne Is Too Blue
No positions in stocks mentioned.
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