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Stock Upgrades: Make a Mint (Julep) in 'Internet Horseman' Oracle Ahead of Kentucky Derby

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

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Oracle (NYSE:ORCL) was one of the Internet's original "Four Horsemen," along with Cisco Systems (NASDAQ:CSCO), EMC Corp (NYSE:EMC), and Sun Microsystems. Oracle actually acquired Sun for $7.4 billion in 2010, and its stock, up a tidy 23.55% in the past year, today scores a broker boost. The analyst expects it to post improved earnings amid a software upgrade cycle. Yesterday's Wall Street Journal reported that Oracle CEO Larry Ellison may team up with Oprah Winfrey to buy the Los Angeles Clippers from its disgraced owner, Donald Sterling.
 
Long before American audiences knew her as the future ex-Mrs. Gordon Gekko, a beautiful actress got her big break in The Darling Buds of May. Yesterday, the month began with Dow Jones (INDEXDJX:.DJI) utterly unable to keep up with Catherine Zeta-Jones. While blue chips snapped a three-session winning streak, the Welsh wonder woman saw her stock options surge as T-Mobile (NYSE:TMUS) advanced 8.06% on its impressive subscriber gains. Cosmetics company Avon (NYSE:AVP) cratered an S&P 500 (INDEXSP:.INX)-worst 10.21% after settling a $135 million bribery probe in Beijing. (Believe me, China is the last -- and I mean the last -- place you want to put lipstick on a pig.) Read here for more on Avon's hitherto unheralded CEO, who really is the real McCoy. Sterling has endured a deservedly dire week but not so sterling, with the British currency sound as a pound after jumping to a half-decade high against our greenback. Sterling Construction (NASDAQ:STRL), up 4.04%, is also doing its best to redeem the name.
 
Today in economics, factory orders for March are expected to slip slightly from February's pace at 10:00 a.m. E.D.T. On the corporate front, another frenetic week for first-quarter earnings announcements concludes with Chevron (NYSE:CVX), CVS Caremark (NYSE:CVS), Estée Lauder (NYSE:EL), and Madison Square Garden (NASDAQ:MSG) all releasing results.
 
Now let's analyze this morning's upgrades, a group that features a casino company plus our aforementioned Oracle.

Aruba Networks (NASDAQ:ARUN): Shares get upgraded to Outperform from Perform at Oppenheimer.
 
Avanir Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ:AVNR): Mizuho moves the stock to Buy from Neutral and also doubles its target price to $10. A recent patent case victory is seen as driving share gains, with Nuedexta now protected until 2026.
 
Beazer Homes (NYSE:BZH): The stock is boosted to Buy from Neutral with a $25 price objective at Compass Point.
 
Dynegy (NYSE:DYN): DYN gets upgraded to Strong Buy from Buy at ISI Group.
 
Evercore (NYSE:EVR): UBS increases EVR to Buy from Neutral.
 
General Dynamics (NYSE:GD): Shares are now Neutral from Sell at Goldman Sachs, which takes its target up to $112 from $102.
 
LinkedIn (NYSE:LNKD): On this stellar jobs Friday, UBS lifts professional networking name LNKD to Buy from Neutral.
 
Novartis (NYSE:NVS): The pharmaceutical firm is now Buy from Hold at Jefferies.
 
OpenTable (NASDAQ:OPEN): Bank of America Merrill Lynch raises the online restaurant reservation outfit to Buy from Neutral.
 
Oracle: Societe Generale takes the tech titan to Buy from Hold.
 
Tempur Sealy (NYSE:TPX): The mattress maker gets moved to Outperform from Neutral with Wedbush.
 
Wynn Resorts (NASDAQ:WYNN): Shares in the Sin City firm are now Buy from Neutral at Sterne Agee, which also increases its price objective to $260 from $225.

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No positions in stocks mentioned.
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