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Stock Upgrades: Goldman Sachs Finds Love in an Elevator

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

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Ella's elegiac ode assured us "spring can really hang you up the most," but that certainly wasn't the case yesterday as Wall Street officially welcomed the season with a surge. Indeed, with AT&T Inc. (NYSE:T) jumping 3.43% to top the Dow (INDEXDJX:.DJI) in a buoyant telecom-services sector, hanging up proved to be spectacularly bad advice. As winter officially ended, "It's always sunny in Philadelphia" was on the money as the Philly Fed Index showed an unexpected increase and Intel's (NASDAQ:INTC) 1.62% advance lead the City of Brotherly Love's PHLX Semiconductor (INDEXNASDAQ:SOX) barometer to an impressive 1.9% increase. Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT), the other member of the fabled but fading "Wintel" duopoly, gained another 2.70% to hit its highest price for 14 years. MicroStrategy (NASDAQ:MSTR) has less warm and fuzzy memories of the millennium -- on March 20, 2000 it inaugurated the tech wreck with a 62% slide to 86-3/4 (Yes, fractions. Those really were the days, my friend.) Yesterday was an unhappy, if slightly less apocalyptic, anniversary, as an iffy analyst initiation sent it 1.18% lower. Lumber Liquidators (NYSE:LL), maker of vinyl plank flooring, plunged 4.46%, continuing the industry's decidedly difficult week. Misery must love company, as Under Armour (NYSE:UACEO Kevin Plank similarly walked the plank with his stock ending off an unlucky 0.13% on a rating reduction.
 
There won't be any top-tier economic reports released today, but quadruple-witching sessions rarely lack action. On the corporate front, Darden Restaurants (NYSE:DRI) and Tiffany (NYSE:TIF) each announced earnings earlier this morning.
 
Abiomed (NASDAQ:ABMD): BTIG boosts the stock to Buy from Neutral.
 
BlackBerry (NASDAQ:BBRY): CLSA boosts the stock to Underperform from Sell, sending it up 2.76% as we speak.
 
Commerzbank (OTCMKTS:CRZBY): Shares are trading higher in Europe today on the back of an Overweight-from-Equal Weight increase at Morgan Stanley, which says the stock is undervalued.
 
Emerson Electric (NYSE:EMR): Oppenheimer increases its investment opinion to Outperform from Perform.
 
Endologix (NASDAQ:ELGX): The medical instruments outfit is now Buy from Neutral at BTIG.
 
JDS Uniphase (NASDAQ:JDSU): The tech name is trading up 2.41% today after being boosted to Buy from Neutral at MKM Partners.
 
Progressive (NYSE:PGR): William Blair moves the insurance firm to Outperform from Market Perform.
 
United Technologies (NYSE:UTX): Oh, the irony. Goldman Sachs (NYSE:GS), which has had quite enough of lifts of late, gives a Buy-from-Neutral upgrade to Otis elevator owner United Technologies. It says that the "stars [are] aligning" for its fellow Dow component.

Also see:

New Stock Coverage: No Need for Any Microsoft Envy at Apple
 
Stock Downgrades: The Bill Just Came Due for Herbalife
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No positions in stocks mentioned.
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