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Stock Upgrades: Twitter Still Scores Even After World Cup


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

Twitter (NYSE:TWTR), in tandem with other social media names, kicked into high gear during soccer's just-concluded World Cup. Even with the tournament over, however, shares aren't quite ready to kick the bucket. Today the stock is boosted by an equity analyst who cites strengthening fundamentals.
Après moi, le déluge, the legendary line of Louis XV from France, proved pretty profitable investment advice on Bastille Day. Amid a downpour in New York, the Dow (INDEXDJX:.DJI) ended back above 17,000 after being inspired by a 3.02% advance in its ex-component Citigroup (NYSE:C), whose longtime logo was an umbrella. (Admittedly, one market sage suggested he saw "an asterisk the size of the sun" in the bank's ostensibly impressive earnings, but Noah Holdings (NYSE:NOAH), which surged 6.77%, seemed to have survived the flood just fine.) Equity-friendly comments from Janet Yellen in the New Yorker also boosted bourses, even as they sent CNBC's Chicago Board of Trade reporter into an apoplectic rage. Perhaps the Windy City blowhard still hasn't forgiven the magazine for its iconic 1976 cover giving Chicago such short shrift. Either that, or he was hurting for Illinois' own Potbelly (NASDAQ:PBPB). The stock, based in "the town that Billy Sunday couldn't shut down," endured an awful attack of The Mondays in plunging another 5.45%. Moving from Sinatra to a siren song of the '70s, one such ditty went "My name is Michael, I've got a nickel allergy." (I quote from memory.) Well, one out of two ain't bad. Michael Kors (NYSE:KORS) cratered 3.52% in posting the S&P 500′s (INDEXSP:.INX) poorest performance even as an upgrade sent Apple Inc (NASDAQ:AAPL) -- whose analyst was all over it like a bad rash -- up 1.29%. By contrast, a rating reduction sent Steven Spielberg's Dreamworks (NASDAQ:DWA) down 1.02%. Serves you right, you heartless dinosaur-killing director you!
Today in economics, May business inventories are out at 10:00 a.m. EDT. On the quarterly earnings front, blue-chip corporate quartet Goldman Sachs (NYSE:GS), Johnson and Johnson (NYSE:JNJ), JPMorgan (NYSE:JPM), and Intel (NASDAQ:INTC) all release results.

Now let's analyze this morning's research recommendations, a group encompassing consumer products and energy companies as well as our aforementioned Twitter.

Applied Materials (NASDAQ:AMAT): Shares get a Buy-from-Neutral boost at B. Riley & Co., whose price objective is $25.
Danone (OTCMKTS:DANOY): Morgan Stanley moves the yogurt king to Overweight from Equal Weight, sending shares up sharply in today's European trading.
Diamond Offshore Drilling (NYSE:DO): The oil services outfit is increased to Perform from Underperform by BMO Capital.
Kimberly-Clark (NYSE:KMB): Goldman Sachs gives the owner of Kleenex an upgrade to Neutral from Sell.
Kroger (NYSE:KR): The grocery giant gets upgraded to Outperform from Perform by BMO.
Mead Johnson Nutrition (NYSE:MJN): MJN is moved to Buy from Neutral at Goldman.
Peugeot Citroën (OTCMKTS:PEUGY): The French car firm is trading higher overseas today after being taken to Overweight from Neutral at JPMorgan.
PHH Corp (NYSE:PVH): The clothing company formerly known as Phillips-Van Heusen is upgraded to Outperform from Perform with an $80 price objective at Oppenheimer, which cites its over $1 billion in excess capital as among the catalysts.
Progressive (NYSE:PGR): Evercore increases its investment assessment on the insurance outfit to Equal Weight from Underweight.
Silver Standard (NASDAQ:SSRI): Shares get upgraded to Outperform from Perform by BMO Capital Markets, whose target is $12.50.
Transocean (NYSE:RIG): BMO raises RIG to Perform from Underperform.
Twitter: Today's headline stock is now Neutral from Underperform at Macquarie.
Whiting Petroleum (NYSE:WLL): UBS boosts the company to Buy from Neutral.
Also see:

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No positions in stocks mentioned.
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