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Stock Upgrades: Good Things Are on Tap at Molson Coors


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

In the week we honored Washington, Wall Street wasn't all about the Benjamins. (And as for Hamilton, let's not even go there after Groupon (NASDAQ:GRPN) tumbled 24%.) Dow Industrials (INDEXDJX:.DJI) dropped 0.32% although Nasdaq (INDEXNASDAQ:.IXIC) again outperformed, ending up for a third straight week to stand at its highest level since the heady days of 2000. That year a suit-and-tie-wearing Internet elder statesman bought a disheveled example of old media, and we all know how well that one turned out. Facebook (NASDAQ:FB), channeling a little of AOL Inc. (NYSE:AOL) and Time Warner's (NYSE:TWX) old timey millennial madness, advanced 2.2% after spending $19 billion on a free download. The Russians showed a rare sense of humor -- who knew? -- in making Olympian fun of their rings, and wedding ring king Zale Corp (NYSE:ZLC) rose 43.52% after being bought. Rumors swirled that Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL), founded in a garage, might team with Tesla Motors (NASDAQ:TSLA), recently aflame in a garage. Economists blamed icy weather for sluggish housing starts in January. (Although interestingly not in the polar vortex-afflicted northeast, where they actually surged 61.9%. No comment yet from noted economist David Rosenberg, who, "After a hard day at" work, "like all Canadians, heads home to his igloo.") Across the Atlantic, England's inflation rate fell below the key 2% level for the first time in more than four years. Although the outlandish new contract awarded a Manchester United (NYSE:MANU) player, who now makes much more than his Prime Minister, suggests that the official statistics don't tell the true story.

There aren't any top-tier economic data due today, but corporate earnings announcements are expected out of Palo Alto Networks (NASDAQ:PANW), Hertz Global (NYSE:NTZ), and HSBC Holdings (NYSE:HSBC). (NASSAQ:BIDU): Goldman Sachs gives the Chinese Internet outfit a Buy-from-Neutral boost, sending it up before the bell.

BankUnited (NYSE:BKU): Shares are now Outperform from Neutral at Credit Suisse. Its price objective, previously $33, increases to $37.

Comcast Corp (NASDAQ:CMCSA): The cable company gets an Outperform-from-Sector Perform upgrade ($66 objective) at Pacific Crest. The company has inked an access agreement with Netflix (NASDAQ:NFLX), sending its stock up impressively this morning. The broker says Comcast's planned buyout of Time Warner Cable (NYSE:TWC) will reach roughly 70% of US residences.

Consolidated Edison (NYSE:ED): Good news in another industry America loves to hate, with an electric utility that is the bane of many Manhattanites moved to Hold from Underperform at Jefferies. A compelling valuation is cited, and its target price gets taken to $58.50 from $45.

Hewlett-Packard (NYSE:HPQ): Argus increases its investment assessment to Buy from Hold.

Invesco Mortgage Capital (NYSE:IVR): Wunderlich boosts the stock to Buy from Hold with an $18 objective.

Marriott International (NASDAQ:MAR): The accommodation outfit, which finished up 1.39% on Friday at a fresh 52-week peak, is this morning raised to Outperform from Perform at Raymond James.

Molson Coors Brewing (NYSE:TAP): Societe Generale boosts the brewing behemoth to Hold from Sell. Its price objective is also taken higher, by $7 to $57.

Nordstrom (NYSE:JWN): The upscale retailer is now Neutral from Underweight at Atlantic Equities.

Pilgrim's Pride (NASDAQ:PPC): The poultry processor gets hoisted to Buy from Hold at BB&T Capital.

Two Harbors Investment (NYSE:TWO): TWO is taken to Buy from Hold with an amended $11 objective with Wunderlich.

UTi Worldwide (NASDAQ:UTIW): RBC Capital raises its recommendation to Outperform from Perform with a $22 target, up from a prior $15.

Verizon (NYSE:VZ): Bank of America-Merrill Lynch lifts the recently resurgent telecom titan, a key Dow component, to Buy from Neutral. (Separately, shares were begun with a bullish Overweight by Barclays this morning, and the stock is being especially actively traded before the opening bell as a result of all this analyst activity.)

Volvo (OTCMKTS:VOLVY): The Swedish car company is now Buy from Neutral at Citigroup.

See also:

Stock Downgrades: 3D Systems at Sixes and Sevens After Analyst Does a 180 (MVPRO article)

New Stock Coverage: Can Kate Upton Help Target Stock Defy Gravity? (MVPRO article)
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