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Stock Upgrades: SeaWorld Set to Make a Splash

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

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For Veterans Day, a 21-gun salute. (True, the Dow (INDEXDJX:.DJI) actually ended up 21.32 but that's close enough for government work, especially on a day Federal offices were closed.) It was indeed All Quiet on the Western Front, with Wall Street trading volume predictably anemic, but US stock markets still reached new records, with blue chips hitting their 35th historic high of 2013. Yesterday was what Europeans call Armistice Day, when The Guns of August finally fell silent. The carnage at Flanders fields is remembered with a poppy; far better that than an unloved Lilly (NYSE:LLY), for whom the bloom is off the rose. Elsewhere, investors got their kicks from soccer side Manchester United (NYSE:MANU), which gained 2.88%, and BT Group (NYSE:BT), which scored a broker boost after buying rights to broadcast Europe's fútbol for $1.4 billion. (Nice to know the bankrupt continent can come up with big bucks for truly important stuff.) And on the day eternally youthful Leonardo DiCaprio entered his 40th year, investors need not have worried about the delay of his Wolf of Wall Street. For, with surging Ugg boots maker Deckers Outdoor (NASDAQ:DECK) adding on another 5.13%, you are far better off in sheep's clothing.

There isn't any top-tier economic data due today to move US markets. In terms of specific stocks, Ascent Capital (NASDAQ:ASCMA), Babcock & Wilcox (NYSE:BWC), Dean Foods (NYSE:DF), Dish Networks (NASDAQ:DISH), D.R. Horton (NYSE:DHI), EchoStar (NASDAQ:SATS), MBIA Inc (NYSE:MBI), Potbelly (NASDAQ:PBPB), Sina Corp (NASDAQ:SINA), Vodafone (NASDAQ:VOD), and WuXi PharmaTech (NYSE:WX) are all due to release results.

BioCryst Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ:BCRX): Bank of America-Merrill Lynch lifts the biotech to Neutral from Underperform.

Cinema Stocks: Cinemark (NYSE:CNK) is now Buy from Neutral at Janney, which gives an identical upgrade to rival Regal Entertainment (NYSE:RGC). Its price objective on Regal Entertainment also increases, by $5 to $26. Over the past year, shares of Regal Entertainment have risen 19.39%.

Crosstex Energy (NASDAQ:XTEX): RBC Capital lifts the limited partnership to Outperform from Sector Perform with a $29 target price amid increasing organic growth. (Please read here for more on MLPs.)

E-House (China) Holdings (NYSE:EJ): Goldman Sachs gives the stock a Buy-from-Neutral boost. Its increased objective is $13.

Embraer (NYSE:ERJ): The Brazilian business jet maker is moved to Neutral from Sell.

Emulex (NYSE:ELX): Piper Jaffray juices the stock to Overweight from Neutral.

Gazprom (OTCMKTS:OGZPY): The Russian energy giant gets upgraded Overweight from Neutral.

Kite Realty (NYSE:KRG): Shares are moved to Market Perform from Underperform with Wells Fargo.

LeapFrog Enterprises (NYSE:LF): LeapFrog enterprises, which endured a terribly tough time of it last week, is today taken to Outperform from Market Perform by BMO Capital Markets. Over the past 12 months, LeapFrog Enterprises stock has lost 4.10%, although shares are currently rebounding before the bell as a result of the analyst's activity.

MedAssets (NASDAQ:MDAS): Citing a favorable valuation, brokerage boutique B. Riley boosts the healthcare information outfit to Buy from Neutral.

SeaWorld Entertainment (NYSE:SEAS): Citigroup increases its investment assessment on SeaWorld Entertainment to Buy from Neutral. SeaWorld Entertainment was the recent, and reluctant, subject of a distinctly unflattering killer whale documentary.

Western Union (NYSE:WU): The money-transfer titan gets moved to Overweight from Equal Weight at First Analysis.

(See also: New Stock Coverage: Unconfined Joy for The Container Store and Stock Downgrades: Gogo Is Grounded)
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No positions in stocks mentioned.
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