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Stock Upgrades: Intuitive Surgical Is Out of Intensive Care

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

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Not long ago, Intuitive Surgical (NASDAQ:ISRG) was on a stellar run, but that all changed when the maker of da Vinci robots reported a 77% slide in its earnings. As a result, at one point in April this erstwhile momentum darling had fallen for eight straight sessions. Today, however, the news is better, with an attractive subsequent valuation seeing the stock score an analyst upgrade.
 
Call it the Clooney rally. After America's most eligible bachelor decided to get hitched to a Brit, Wall Street went the same way. New York's Pfizer (NYSE:PFE) jumped 4.20% to top all Dow Industrials (INDEXDJX:.DJI) amid its extended courtship of England's beloved AstraZeneca (NYSE:AZN), itself up 12.16% at an historic high. Elsewhere across the pond, BP Plc (NYSE:BP), which did so much to irreparably damage the Anglo-American "special relationship" in 2010, certainly wasn't saying "from Russia with love." Its stock imploded 1.37%, hurt by owning a stake in Moscow's OAO Rosneft (OTCMKTS:RNFTF) as sanctions belatedly start to bite. (And to think, its wayward Tony Hayward was once sent to Siberia.) But romance will never die, not when you can now buy your cutie a five-carat diamond ring emblazoned with Warren Buffett's signature. For what it's worth, Berkshire Hathaway (NYSE:BRK.B) just gained 0.35% to a lifetime best.
 
It's another full day for first-quarter earnings announcements, with Archer Daniels Midland (NYSE:AMD), Bristol-Myers Squibb (NYSE:BMY), eBay Inc. (NASDAQ:EBAY), and Twitter (NYSE:TWTR) all releasing results.
 
Now let's analyze this morning's analyst upgrades, a list that encompasses hotel and shoe stocks, as well as our aforementioned Intuitive Surgical.

Boardwalk Pipeline (NYSE:BWP): The limited partnership gets lifted to Equal-Weight from Underweight at Morgan Stanley. Its price objective, previously $14, increases to $17.
 
Chegg (NYSE:CHGG): Bank of America Merrill Lynch moves the online supplier of student textbooks to Buy from Neutral.
 
Choice Hotels (NYSE:CHH): The accommodation outfit gets upgraded to Equal Weight from Underweight by Barclays. The target price is also taken up by $3 to $47.
 
CLARCOR (NYSE:CLC): BB&T Capital Markets hoists the pollution control company to Buy from Hold.
 
DSW Inc. (NYSE:DSW): The apparel outfit formerly (and formally) known as Designer Shoe Warehouse is now Buy from Neutral at Sterne Agee.
 
El Paso Electric (NYSE:EE): Jefferies juices the utility to Buy from Hold.
 
Hewlett-Packard (NYSE:HPQ): The tech titan is trading up 1.12% in today's pre-market. This, after being increased to Outperform from Perform at Pacific Crest.
 
Ingram Micro (NYSE:IM): Raymond James raises its recommendation to Strong Buy from an already-upbeat Outperform.
 
Intuitive Surgical: Today's headliner gets taken to Neutral from Underperform at Sterne Agee.
 
iRobot (NASDAQ:IRBT): On a decent day for robots, IRBT gets moved to Neutral from Underweight at JPMorgan.
 
Lakeland Bancorp (NASDAQ:LBAI): Keefe Bruyette boosts the regional financial firm to Outperform from Perform. Its target is now $13, up from $12.
 
Norilsk Nickel (OTCMKTS:NILSY): President Putin will like this as sanctions start to bite. JPMorgan upgrades the Russian commodity company by an unusual 180 degrees (Overweight from Underweight.)
 
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No positions in stocks mentioned.
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