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Stock Upgrades: Scotts Miracle-Gro Not Going to Pot

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

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"When your instinct tells you that disaster,
Is approaching you faster and faster,
Then be like the bluebird and sing,
'Tweet tweet, tra-la, tra-la, tra-la.'"

– Anything Goes

Cole Porter was right on the money yesterday. Even as US markets swooned, with Dow Industrials (INDEXDJX:.DJI) dropping a disastrous triple digits, Twitter's (NYSE:TWTR) eulogized mountain bluebird surged some 72.69% on its debut. (Which occurred at 10:51 a.m. Eastern as well, right on cue for its 11 o'clock number.) Still, there were some skeptics on the short-messaging stock. "Twitter is an accessory to market froth" said the president of Market Semiotics, Woody Dorsey, but frankly, he don't know Jack. "Twitter is my alter eagle" was slammed as one of the worst Tweets of all time, but maybe its author was actually on to something. After all, amid an otherwise awful day for stock markets, American Eagle (NYSE:AEO) soared 4.10% on a broker boost. Also bucking a brutal tape was JC Penney (NYSE:JCP), which jumped 5.88%. Penny stocks, alas, fared a lot less well.

In terms of economic events that may move US markets this morning, the Reuters/University of Michigan preliminary consumer sentiment index for November is expected to improve from October's final figure at 9:55 a.m. Eastern. Regarding specific stocks, Atlas Energy (NYSE:ATLS), Cablevision (NYSE:CVC), Compagnie Financière Richemont (VTX:CFR), Leap Wireless (NASDAQ:LEAP), Lions Gate Entertainment (NYSE:LGF), Telefónica (NYSE:TEF), and Xinyuan Real Estate (NYSE:XIN) are all due to announce earnings.

Akzo Nobel (OTCMKTS:AKZOY): JPMorgan moves the European pain and coating powerhouse to Overweight from Neutral.

Alaska Air (NYSE:ALK): Alaska Air is upgraded to Equal Weight from Underweight by Barclays. Over the past year, shares of Alaska Air are up a highly impressive 74.56%.

Amarin (NASDAQ:AMRN): Shares are now Buy from Neutral at Citigroup, whose target price is $2.50.

Broadridge Financial (NYSE:BR): BR gets boosted to Neutral from Underweight at JPMorgan.

Corporate Office Properties (NYSE:OFC): Bank of America-Merrill Lynch lifts the stock to Buy from Neutral.

Eastman Chemical (NYSE:EMN): The equity is now Overweight from Neutral at JPMorgan.

Lloyds Banking Group (NYSE:LYG): Investec increases the British financial firm to Buy from Hold.

Peabody Energy (NYSE:BTU): Goldman Sachs, which recently turned more bullish on steel, today gives a Buy-from-Neutral upgrade to the coal company.

Republic Airways (NASDAQ:RJET): RJET gets raised to Overweight from Equal Weight at Evercore.

Scotts Miracle-Gro (NYSE:SMG): Scotts Miracle-Gro, whose CEO sees promise in the marijuana market, gets an après-earnings upgrade at BMO Capital, where shares are now Market Perform from Underperform. Third quarter results at Scotts Miracle-Gro beat Street estimates.

SolarWinds (NYSE:SWI): SolarWinds is hoisted to Buy from Hold at Needham. In the past year, shares of SolarWinds have performed poorly, plunging some 36.48%.

(See also: New Stock Coverage: Is McDonald's, Much Like the French, Fried? and Stock Downgrades: Blockbuster Nights Are Over at Tremor Video)
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No positions in stocks mentioned.
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