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Stock Upgrades: Pan American Silver Worth Its Weight in Gold

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

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Vegas Showgirls, showered with confetti, rang the opening bell, while The Wolf of Wall Street, that tale of drunken, dwarf-tossing debauchery, attracted its first reviews. So it figures that US stock markets would respond with…a dull-as-dishwater session that served only as an antidote to insomnia. The Dow (INDEXDJX:.DJI) barely budged on a desultory trading day, with all eyes instead on the Fed's announcement this afternoon. Consumer prices, still remarkably subdued, came in unchanged last month. Inflation, however, remains rampant in the executive suite at Hewlett-Packard (NYSE:HPQ), whose CEO says her pay packet surged 1,500,000%. As Donna Summer said, "She works hard for the money"; yesterday Meg Whitman's company jumped another 2.04% on an analyst upgrade. Facebook (NASDAQ:FB) similarly rode a broker boost to rise 1.95%, ending at a record high. This as a Facebook posting emerged of Joe Biden, which showed that the licentious, liberal lion's left hand knew full well what the right hand was doing. He should surely have kept those roaming digits firmly under wraps, although preferably not in Team USA mittens made in China. Match.com, Chemistry.com, and OkCupid.com owner IAC/InterActiveCorp (NASDAQ:IACI) tumbled 2.12% but true love lives on in Washington, where Uncle Sam earmarked almost a million bucks for the "Popular Romance Project." And, to tweak the title of an iconic Wall Street book, Jamie Dimon showed us The Predator's Balls in a holiday card overstuffed with the yellow bouncing things used in tennis. Where, of course, love literally means nothing.

In terms of economic events that may move US markets today, the Federal Open Market Committee releases its interest rate announcement at 2:00 p.m. Eastern. Chairman Ben Bernanke's final press conference as Fed head follows at 2:30 p.m. Regarding specific stocks, expect earnings announcements from FedEx (NYSE:FDX), General Mills (NYSE:GIS), Herman Miller (NASDAQ:MLHR), Lennar (NYSE:LEN), Oracle (NYSE:ORCL), Paychex (NASDAQ:PAYX), and Steelcase (NYSE:SCS).

HCA Holdings (NYSE:HCA): Goldman Sachs adds the hospital operator to its Conviction Buy list.

Intel (NASDAQ:INTC): Semiconductor stock Intel, a key Dow component, is added to the Short-Term Buy list at Deutsche Bank.

Luxottica (NYSE:LUX): LUX gets lifted to Overweight from Neutral at HSBC Securities.

Pan American Silver (NASDAQ:PAAS): Pan American Silver stock is showing strength this morning after being moved to Neutral from Underweight at JP Morgan.

Roadrunner Transportation (NYSE:RRTS): Stifel raises Roadrunner Transportation stock to Buy from Hold amid an increasingly compelling valuation. Its price objective is $31.

Southern Copper (NYSE:SCCO): Shares are now Buy from Neutral at Citigroup.

(See also: New Stock Coverage: Fall in Love With Eros International and Stock Downgrades: Sorry, Maggie - Today Marx & Engels Triumph Over Marks & Spencer)
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No positions in stocks mentioned.
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