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Stock Upgrades: Lululemon Athletica Is Out of the Downward Doghouse at Last

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

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Early days these may be, but scientists have already decided that yesterday will end up being the most depressing date of the entire year. It certainly was on Wall Street, where the S&P 500 Index (INDEXSP:.INX) slumped for the third straight session to start 2014. Twitter (NYSE:TWTR) - which has more reason than most to curse Mondays - tumbled 3.93% after its most recent rating reduction. You could call it the curse of "Black Monday," then, for the micro-blogging firm. But in its case the phrase refers not to October 19, 1987 redux, but rather the NFL iteration arriving one week late. After all, it was brought public by a former football executive who now works for Goldman Sachs (NYSE:GS) - a stock that saw no such angst as it advanced 0.68% to a fresh multi-year best. What a difference a day makes? Maybe, but Ruby Tuesday (NYSE:RT) nosedived 9.00% to suggest it won't be over the hump by tomorrow. Although, as we shall soon see, it is a brand new day at Lululemon Athletica (NASDAQ:LULU). In Washington, the House of Representatives returned from recess, but will only be in session for 97 days before leaving to cram for its mid-terms. Little wonder that CliffsNotes publisher Houghton Mifflin Harcourt (NASDAQ:HMHC) rode a broker boost to gain 3.28%. Our elected representatives deal with the debt ceiling under a cracked Capitol dome. There were no such worries for an upgraded SolarCity (NASDAQ:SCTY), which once raised the roof on eBay Inc. (NASDAQ:EBAY) and yesterday surged some 7.32%. (As for eBay Inc. (NASDAQ:EBAY) itself, that stock tumbled 2.76% on a rating reduction but still enjoyed a better day than Michael Bay). In other analyst action, Amazon.com (NASDAQ:AMZN) lost 0.71% after being started with a "Sell", which Jeff Bezos needs about as much as a bad case of renal colic.

Regarding specific stocks that may move US markets today, Apollo Education Group (NASDAQ:APOL), Commercial Metals Company (NYSE:CMC), Micron Technology (NASDAQ:MU), and The Container Store (NYSE:TCS) are all due to release results.

Arthur J. Gallagher (NYSE:AJG): The insurance outfit gets upgraded to Overweight from Equal Weight by Barclays.

BASF (OTCMKTS:BASFY): The German chemical company is up nicely in today's European trading after being taken to Buy from Neutral at UBS.

Becton Dickinson (NYSE:BDX): Bank of America-Merrill Lynch lifts the medical name to Neutral from Underperform.

British Sky Broadcasting (OTCMKTS:BSYBY): Shares are hoisted to Hold from Underperform at Jefferies

Capital One (NYSE:COF): Goldman Sachs adds its fellow financial firm to the Conviction Buy list.

Glu Mobile (NASDAQ:GLUU): GLUU stock is gaining some 6.36% as we speak after getting boosted to Buy from Hold at brokerage boutique Craig-Hallum.

Johnson & Johnson (NYSE:JNJ): Johnson & Johnson, a key Dow (INDEXDJX:.DJI) component, sees its stock upgraded to Outperform from Perform at RBC Capital Markets amid above industry average revenue growth. Its price objective, previously $88, increases to $104.

Lockheed Martin (NYSE:LMT): Shares are now Buy from Neutral at Bank of America-Merrill.

Logitech (NASDAQ:LOGI): Barclays moves the computer mouse maker to Equal Weight from Underweight.

Lululemon Athletica (NASDAQ:LULU): 2013 was an awful year for endlessly-controversial Lululemon Athletica, but 2014 may be better. Today its stock is taken to Buy from Neutral at DA Davidson, which cites both improved execution and easier sales comparisons. Its amended target price is $73.

MGM Resorts (NYSE:MGM): Morgan Stanley moves the casino company to Overweight from Equal Weight.

Pall Corp (NYSE:PLL): Shares are now Buy from Neutral at Bank of America-Merrill Lynch.

Sherwin-Williams (NYSE:SHW): The paint powerhouse is hoisted to Buy from Hold at KeyBanc.

Splunk (NASDAQ:SPLK): UBS increases its investment assessment to Buy from Neutral.

St. Jude Medical (NYSE:STJ): A second upgrade in as many days for the surging medical device maker's stock, currently trading atop lifetime highs. This morning it is moved to Sector Perform from Underperform at RBC Capital. Its price objective also increases, by $20 to $64.

SunTrust Banks (NYSE:STI): Shares are moved to Outperform from Perform by BMO Capital Markets.

UnitedHealth (NYSE:UNH): The Dow member is now Buy from Hold at Deutsche Bank.

(See also: New Stock Coverage: Record Cold Got You Down? Botox Owner Allergan Turns Frowns Into Frozen Smiles and Stock Downgrades: Analyst Inflicts Assault and Battery on Energizer)
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No positions in stocks mentioned.
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