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Stock Upgrades: Starbucks Completes Stellar Week for Seattle


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

Why wax nostalgic for the mildewed "Miracle on Ice" when being freshly Frozen is such fun? The Dow (INDEXDJX:.DJI) enjoyed its best day of 2014 as Walt Disney (NYSE:DIS), inspired by the tale of royal sisters stuck in an arctic tundra, surged 5.30% for its stock's finest single-session showing since 2011. Across the Atlantic, European Central Bank President Mario Draghi, flying in the face of all available evidence, told a news conference, "Is there deflation? The answer is 'No.'" In the dulcet tones of America's finest diplomats: "F@#! the EU." It was an especially unfortunate day for Draghi to be in denial, what with engagement-ring king Blue Nile (NASDAQ:NILE) nose-diving 15.07%. (And this even as Zsa Zsa Gabor, whose nine weddings could run rings around even Elizabeth Taylor, entered her 98th year.) Ronald Reagan, a.k.a. "the Teflon President" to which nothing negative ever stuck, enjoyed a happier birthday as DuPont (NYSE:DD) rose 1.71% on a broker boost. And a certain carbonated beverage company jumped 7.15%. So much for those jump-the-gun types who only hours earlier told us "Sodastream (NASDAQ:SODA) Is Tanking."

Today's earnings announcements include Apollo Global (NYSE:APO), Cigna (NYSE:CI), Madison Square Garden (NASDAQ:MSG), Moody's (NYSE:MCO), and Wyndham Worldwide (NYSE:WYN).

Alpha Natural Resources (NYSE:ANR): The coal company is now Neutral from Sell at Citigroup.

American Capital Mortgage (NASDAQ:MTGE): Shares get a Buy-from-Hold hoist with Wunderlich, whose price objective is $21.50.

Citigroup (NYSE:C): Bank of America-Merrill Lynch adds its fellow financial to the firm's US 1 Focus List of favored equities.

C.H. Robinson (NASDAQ:CHRW): Shares, slumping of late, are lifted to Hold from Sell at Stifel.

DineEquity (NYSE:DIN): The owner of Applebee's and International House of Pancakes gets boosted to Buy from Hold at KeyBanc Capital.

Kellogg (NYSE:K): JPMorgan moves the cereal stock to Neutral from Underweight. Its target price is trimmed however, by $3 to $55.

LinkedIn (NYSE:LNKD): Shares, slumping 6.80% before the bell in the face of a fifth straight quarter of decelerating sales growth, are nonetheless taken to Buy from Neutral at SunTrust. Its price objective also increases, to $260 from $250.

Lululemon Athletica (NASDAQ:LULU): Don't fancy eating a Subway hoagie made from chemicals found in yoga mats? Then opt instead to put your money where your mouth is in this maker of yoga apparel, which -- unlike the aforementioned sandwich shop -- is always free from controversy. Today LULU gets raised to Outperform from Sector Perform ($56 target) at RBC Capital, which believes the firm's myriad issues are now largely behind it as a fresh executive team takes over.

Myriad Genetics (NASDAQ:MYGN): MYGN is now Neutral from Underperform at Credit Suisse.

Noble Energy (NYSE:NBL): The stock is boosted to Buy from Neutral at Mizuho, which takes its target up by $3 to $78.

Sony (NYSE:SNE): Shares, up 3.90% yesterday after the company announced a major restructuring, are adding on another 1.09% before the bell on the back of a Buy-from-Hold increase at Jefferies.

Starbucks (NASDAQ:SBUX): All this and a Super Bowl, too? The coffee king, pride of Seattle, is moved to Outperform from Market Perform with Wells Fargo, which came away impressed from its recent meeting with company management. As a result, shares are showing strength as I write this article, even after this morning's punk payroll report.

Towers Watson (NYSE:TW): TW is taken to Overweight from Neutral at JPMorgan.

Also see:

New Stock Coverage: Buffalo Wild Wings Takes Flight

Stock Downgrades: iRobot Is Only Human After All
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