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Stock Upgrades: Jakks Pacific Storms the Beaches


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

Shares of Malibu-based toy maker Jakks Pacific (NASDAQ:JAKK) are currently up 2.46% before the bell to recoup much of Thursday's 3.31% tumble. The stock scores a broker boost on account of an improved financial showing, increased EPS (Earnings Per Share) projections, and heightened sales momentum. Jakks Pacific currently has a plaything tied to the recently-released Godzilla movie.
Seven decades since "The boys of Pointe du Hoc," in Ronald Reagan's immortal phrase, climbed the cliffs to end a conflict, stocks scaled new summits after more encouraging news out of Europe caused Mohamed to come to a continent's debt mountain armed with war analogies. (Unfortunately, even the Gipper's legendary Teflon touch deserted him exactly 10 years to the day after he died. This as clothing company PVH Corp. (NYSE:PVH), whose Phillips-Van Heusen shirts our 40th president once proudly wore, plunged an S&P 500 (INDEXSP:.INX)-worst 8.10% even as the benchmark bourse and Dow (INDEXDJX:.DJI) each reached fresh peaks.) As we marked the date of an epochal battle, munitions maker General Dynamics (NYSE:GD) gained 2.14% as the Philadelphia Defense Sector (INDEXNASDAQ:DFX) ended up an impressive 1.50%. (That the City of Brotherly Loves gives its name to such murderous tools remains the ultimate irony, however.) That stock was joined at a fresh historic high by tobacco titan Reynolds American (NYSE:RAI), whose Camels Ike inhaled to the tune of four packs per day leading up to this, The Longest Day. And a shunned Quiksilver (NYSE:ZQK), which on Tuesday tumbled 41% in its worst-ever single-session showing, fell a further 4.01%. Thus the Wheel of Fortune clearly has yet to turn back in favor of the Huntington Beach-based seller of swimwear, which certainly isn't saying "Surf City, here we come."
It's quite a quiet Friday for quarterly earnings announcements, although Sears Hometown and Outlet Stores (NASDAQ:SHOS) released results earlier this morning. In economic action, April consumer credit is expected to contract from the prior month's pace at 3:00 p.m. EDT.
Now let's analyze this morning's upgrades, a group that encompasses a furniture firm and yesterday's top S&P 500 name as well as aforementioned Jakks Pacific.

Angie's List (NASDAQ:ANGI): Bank of America Merrill Lynch lifts the stock to Buy from Neutral.
CONSOL Energy (NYSE:CNX): Shares get upgraded to Buy from Neutral at Goldman Sachs.
Herman Miller (NASDAQ:MLHR): Longbow moves the maker of office cubicles and iconic Aeron chairs to Buy from Neutral.
Humana (NYSE:HUM): The stock is boosted to Buy from Hold with a $155 price objective at Stifel, which cites ongoing growth in the Medicare eligible population among other favorable factors.
Joy Global (NYSE:JOY): 6/6 may be another excellent day for the mining equipment maker, which yesterday jumped 6.66% to top the entire S&P 500 Index. This morning it is moved to Buy from Neutral by Bank of America Merrill.
Jakks Pacific: Needham takes the toy titan, today's headline analyst upgrade, to Buy from Hold. The target price is $10.
Lennox International (NYSE:LII): Shares are hoisted to Buy from Hold at KeyBanc Capital.
Spirit AeroSystems (NYSE:SPR): Cowen raises its recommendation to Outperform from Perform. Its price objective also increases, by $8 to $40.
Watts Water (NYSE:WTS): WTS is now Buy from Hold at KeyBanc Capital Markets.

Also see:
New Stock Coverage: D-Day for Sabre Rattling

Stock Downgrades: Peabody Energy Is No Sherman Tank
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No positions in stocks mentioned.
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