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Stock Upgrades: Kate Spade an Even Better Bet Than Cate Blanchett


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

Wall Street defied gravity even as Hollywood didn't. The Oscars and J.C. Penney (NYSE:JCP) as a public company both date to 1929, and, based on recent evidence, each are aging better than Kim Novak. The retailer rose 29.08% in a week when S&P 500 (INDEXSP:.INX) shares reached historic highs. (That catastrophic Crash year ended in tears amid unsustainable margin debt but, rest assured, that could never happen again.) Mercifully, last night saw no speeches as cringe-worthy as Sally Field's 1983 epic. Certainly, Facebook (NASDAQ:FB) wasn't saying "You 'Like' Me!" after falling for several successive sessions as the folly of its $19 billion price tag for WhatsApp finally started to sink in. There was love, not like, in the burgeoning bromance between Men's Wearhouse (NYSE:MW) and Jos. A. Bank Clothiers (NASDAQ:JOSB), which rose a respective 19.24% and 12.77%. By contrast, our President opted for corporate casual, doubling down on denim for his 90-minute phone call with big bad Vlad. His sartorial selection didn't do much for telecoms, which ended down 0.64% in the week's worst performance, but clearly boosted a beloved Gap Inc. (NYSE:GPS).

Today in economics, January construction spending and the Institute for Supply Management's manufacturing index for February are each out at 10:00 a.m. Eastern. On the earnings front, McDermott International (NYSE:MDR), Nu Skin Enterprises (NYSE:NUS), and URS Corp (NYSE:URS) all release results.

Air France-KLM (OTCMKTS:AFLYY): Shares are now Neutral from Underperform at Credit Suisse.

Brandywine Realty (NYSE:BDN): BMO Capital Markets boosts the stock to Outperform from Perform.

Intuit (NASDAQ:INTU): Citigroup takes the TurboTax titan to Buy from Neutral. Its price objective, previously $75, increases to $94.

Kate Spade (NYSE:KATE): Cate Blanchett just won another Academy Award but this company, fresh from changing its name from Fifth and Pacific, is equally hot. Shares are now Buy from Neutral at Citi.

Nokia (NYSE:NOK): Encouraged by the telecom titan's licensing revenue prospects, Canaccord Genuity hoists it to Buy from Hold. Its target price is also taken higher, by $2 to $10.

RF Micro Device (NASDAQ:RFMD): Bank of America-Merrill Lynch lifts the tech name to Buy from Neutral.

Telecoms: US Cellular (NYSE:USM) and Telephone & Data Systems (NYSE:TDS) are each upgraded to Overweight from Neutral at JPMorgan.

See also:

Stock Downgrades: Scarlett Johansson, Snubbed at Oscars, Sees SodaStream Sink (MVPRO article)

New Stock Coverage: Who Needs an Oscar Statue When There's Kinross Gold? (MVPRO article)
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