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Stock Upgrades: Teutons Topple Team USA, but Nike Is Still Just Doing It Best


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

Germany may have just beaten Team USA on the fútbol field but Nike (NYSE:NKE) remains on course to triumph over its arch rival Adidas (OTC:ADDYY). While the pride of the Fatherland fell 0.99% yesterday, no one is saying "nein, nein" to the Beaverton behemoth this morning. Shares of the key Dow (INDEXDJX:.DJI) component are surging 3.23% ahead of the open after its World Cup marketing push paid off in a big way. Its overall annual sales were up 10% in US and 18% in Europe due to aggressive advertising efforts ahead of the soccer tournament. The smart set says Nike shares are often dead money during the World Cup but don't you believe it; we told you otherwise some seven months ago.
The "reverse Robin Hood" remarks of a former Fed official were infinitely more interesting, but it was instead an entirely predictable comment from a current Fed member that yesterday most caught Mr. Market's attention. James Bullard's merest hint that our essentially zero interest rates are, heaven forfend, heading higher, sent the S&P 500 (INDEXSP:.INX) down for a third time in four days. Iron Mountain (NYSE:IRM) was the benchmark bourse's biggest winner by a mile with its 20.05% advance. It became the poster child for the financial crisis with its Lehman Brothers boxes, but Barclays (NYSE:BCS), which bought the carcass of the beleaguered bank, slid 7.38% to a near two-year trough. Luis Suárez, the Barclays Premier League's top scorer last season, was banned from fútbol for four months and will have winced at Jürgen Klinsmann's observation that "The late goal that Portugal scored against us was hard to swallow, people thought that might hurt us, but we are still here." Indeed, although the Germans won yesterday's battle on a day Alcoa's (NYSE:AA) Bremen-born CEO Klaus Kleinfeld saw his stock surge 2.68% to a three-year high. Trading volume was anemic as all of America played hooky to catch The Match, aboard Air Force One in the case of President Obama. (The plane's manufacturer Boeing (NYSE:BA), up 0.76%, to best all blue chips, didn't seem to much mind the productivity plunge.) GoPro (NASDAQ:GPRO) jumped 30.58% to top all Nasdaq (INDEXNASDAQ:.IXIC) issues on its market debut. Its cameras provided astonishing pictures of a recent war in Syria. Tomorrow marks a century since the start of the "War to end wars," a conflict in which carrier pigeons played a key role. The march of technology is relentless, and not always benign.
This morning in economics, the University of Michigan's final figure for June consumer confidence is expected to improve at 9:55 a.m. EDT. In earnings action, AZZ Incorporated (NYSE:AZZ), Finish Line (NASDAQ:FINL), and KB Home (NYSE:KBH) all release results.
Now let's analyze this morning's analyst actions, a group encompassing another Dow member besides our aforementioned Nike.

AmSurg (NASDAQ:AMSG): Shares get upgraded to Outperform from Perform by Robert W. Baird on account of its good organic growth prospects. Its price objective, previously $44 is taken up by $10.
Brooks Automation (NASDAQ:BRKS): Stifel boosts BRKS to Buy from Hold with a $13 price objective.
H.B. Fuller (NYSE:FUL): The stock is hoisted to Buy from Hold at Deutsche Bank.
Intel (NASDAQ:INTC): Sanford Bernstein moves the Dow member to Market Perform from Underperform.
IPC The Hospitalist (NASDAQ:IPCM): IPCM is increased to Outperform from Perform at RBC Capital. Its target price also goes up, to $52 from $49.
Keurig Green Mountain (NASDAQ:GMCR): Amid its K-Cup inspired revenue growth, the coffee company gets upgraded to Buy from Hold at Argus.
Manitowoc (NYSE:MTW): Shares, up 9.42% yesterday, get upgraded to Hold from Underperform at Jefferies. (Note that the stock also suffered a rating reduction this morning.)
Mediaset (BIT:MS): The empire controlled by ex-Italian Prime Minister is up 3.11% as we speak in today's European trading. This, on the back of a Neutral-from-Underperform boost by BNP Paribas, which notes the potential for a venture with Al-Jazeera's network.
Nike (NYSE:NKE) Today's headline stock has its price target boosted by both Canaccord Genuity ($76 from $71) and Janney ($80 from $77), although in each case the overall investment rating remains intact.
Shaw Communications (NYSE:SJR): TD Securities takes the stock to Buy from Hold.

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