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Stock Upgrades: Is This Heaven? No, It's Iowa -- Meredith Corporation a Heartland Hit


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

Minnesota was colder than Mars, but stocks still went to Pluto. Even as January job growth remained frozen amid a polar vortex, Dow Industrials (INDEXDJX:.DJI) responded with a triple-digit advance on Friday to finish the first week of February with a 0.61% increase. Among stocks on the move, CVS Caremark (NYSE:CVS) announced it will stop selling tobacco products, secure in the knowledge it remains America's go-to destination for personalized Valentine's Day gifts. The smart money said buy Starbucks (NASDAQ:SBUX) but, only twenty-four hours on, customers were dumbfounded. Handbag king Michael Kors (NYSE:KORS) advanced 18% on the week to a fresh all-time peak, even as its competitor disgraced itself at a service for Philip Seymour Hoffman. Elsewhere, Scarlett Johansson went makeup-free in Vanity Fair, and looked a decade younger for it. Mere mortals who still need Photoshop, fear not, however, for its owner Adobe Systems (NASDAQ:ADBE) surged 2.51% on Friday to a historic high. Flappy Bird flew the coop, and flip-the-bird was the order of the day for Twitter (NYSE:TWTR), which tumbled 16%.

There aren't any top-tier economic reports out today. In earnings action, CNA Financial (NYSE:CNA), Hasbro (NASDAQ:HAS), and Masco (NYSE:MAS) all release results.

American Express (NYSE:AXP): Morgan Stanley moves the stock, a key Dow component, to Overweight from Equal Weight. Its price target, previously $90, increases by $10. The stock is up this morning as a result.

Bristol-Myers (NYSE:BMY): BMY gets an Outperform-from-Perform boost by BMO Capital Markets.

Fast Food: Raymond James juices Bloomin' Brands (NASDAQ:BLMN), DineEquity (NYSE:DIN), Red Robin Gourmet Burgers (NASDAQ:RRGB), and Texas Roadhouse (NASDAQ:TXRH), all now Strong Buy from Outperform.

Ingram Micro (NYSE:IM): IM gets increased to Buy from Hold with a $31 price objective at Brean Capital, which cites a stabilizing demand environment among other favorable factors.

JPMorgan Chase (NYSE:JPM): Societe Generale hoists its fellow financial firm to Buy from Hold.

Legg Mason (NYSE:LM): Shares are trading up today after getting lifted to Outperform from Perform by Keefe Bruyette. Its price objective, previously $48, increases to $50.

Meredith Corporation (NYSE:MDP): It is indeed a Field of Dreams for this publishing powerhouse and pride of Des Moines, today taken to Buy from Neutral at Citigroup.

St. Jude Medical (NYSE:STJ): William Blair moves the medical device maker to Outperform from Market Perform, sending it higher ahead of this morning's opening bell.

T-Mobile US (NYSE:TMUS): TMUS gets increased to Overweight from Equal Weight by Barclays.

Urban Outfitters (NASDAQ:URBN): The retailer is raised to Buy from Hold at Brean Capital.

Whole Foods Market (NASDAQ:WFM): BB&T Capital Markets gives the gourmet grocer a Buy-from-Hold boost.

See also:

Stock Downgrades: Foul Day for Fairway

New Stock Coverage: Sky's the Limit for Rocket Fuel
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