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Stock Upgrades: Pfizer Is in the Money on 42nd Street


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

We're in the money,
We're in the money;
We've got a lot of what it takes to get along!

-- Gold Diggers of 1933

Ginger Rogers, whose pig Latin performance one minute and 39 seconds into that signature song is an indelible image of the silver screen, was indeed in (and on) the money. Yesterday gold digging was about the only thing that worked, with the yellow metal surging 1.6% even as S&P 500 (INDEXSP:.INX) shares suffered their worst start to a February start since, yes, 1933. Oddly, "We're in the money" was also an eleven o'clock number on 42nd Street, and Pfizer (NYSE:PFE) -- headquartered on that iconic Manhattan boulevard -- gained 0.66% in posting the Dow's (INDEXDJX:.DJI) only advance. As for nearby "Broadway Joe" Namath, he "guaranteed" the Jets would win Super Bowl III but will not remember Super Bowl XLVIII quite as fondly. Mr. Namath seems to shop solely at The Fur Salon at Saks these days. Just as well, for Men's Wearhouse (NYSE:MW) -- whose founder George Zimmer is also famous for a "guarantee" -- just slumped 7.76%. This as Jos. A Bank Clothiers (NASDAQ:JOSB) fell 5.03% after aiming for a preposterous poison pill offer by making envious eyes at Eddie Bauer. Bauer was big back in the Reagan era, and so was RadioShack (NYSE:RSH). It advanced 3.33% amid the red ink after airing a self-deprecating Super Bowl ad that said "The '80s called, they want their store back." One wonders how the decade wasn't put on hold, for AT&T Inc. (NYSE:T) nosedived a Dow-worst 4.11% as phone shares endured their single worst day since August 2011. And an analyst diss sent slumping Mattel (NASDAQ:MAT) down another 4.73%. Although Barbie will tell you its current crisis is being blown all out of proportion.

Today in economics, December 2013 factory orders are expected to contract from the previous month's pace at 10:00 a.m. Eastern. On the corporate front, expect earnings announcements out of Arch Coal (NYSE:ACI), Archer Daniels Midland (NYSE:ADM), BP plc (NYSE:BP), Buffalo Wild Wings (NASDAQ:BWLD), Emerson Electric (NYSE:EMR), Gilead Sciences (NASDAQ:GILD), HCA Holdings (NYSE:HCA), Panasonic (OTCMKTS:PCRFY), Sirius XM (NASDAQ:SIRI), and UBS AG (NYSE:UBS).

Allergan (NYSE:AGN): I can't keep up with the number of broker boosts the Botox owner has scored in this still-young year. One? Two? Today it is taken to Buy from Neutral at Citigroup. Its price objective, previously $95, increases to $130.

Angie's List (NASDAQ:ANGI): Barrington Research raises its recommendation to Outperform from Perform.

BMW Group (OTCMKTS:BAMXY): The German car company gets upgraded to Overweight from Neutral at HSBC Securities.

Chevron (NYSE:CVX): Raymond James juices the oil giant to Strong Buy from an already-upbeat Outperform.

Devon Energy (NYSE:DVN): Staying in energy, shares are now Outperform from Neutral at Credit Suisse. The target price is also taken up, to $76 from $73.

Duke Realty (NYSE:DRE): Hailing the company's healthy growth prospects, RBC Capital raises its rating to Outperform from Perform.

First Republic Bank (NYSE:FRC): Shares get boosted to Outperform from Perform by Keefe Bruyette.

Gap Inc. (NYSE:GPS): UBS increases the khaki king to Buy from Neutral and takes its target up by $9 to $50. The Swiss bank says Gap is capable of achieving approximately 15% earnings growth in upcoming years.

Nielsen (NYSE:NLSN): NLSN is now Buy from Hold at Pivotal Research. The objective is $48.

OpenTable (NASDAQ:OPEN): Citigroup takes the company to Neutral from Sell and increases its objective to $74 from $68.

Merck (NYSE:MRK): The drug stock is now Buy from Neutral at SunTrust.

Pfizer: Staying in the sector, Merck's fellow Dow member Pfizer gets a Buy-from-Hold hoist at Jefferies. The target is now $38, up from $33.

Rambus (NASDAQ:RMBS): Citi adds the tech name to its Focus List of favored equities.

Wynn Macau (OTCMKTS:WYNMF): The casino company is upgraded to Overweight from Neutral at HSBC Securities

Zynga (NASDAQ:ZNGA): This recently surging stock is advancing again ahead of the open after being boosted to Buy from Neutral at UBS, which also increases its objective by $2 to $6.

Also see:

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Stock Downgrades: This Week's Beatlemania No Boost for Volkswagen
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