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Stock Upgrades: Walgreen Back at the Corner of Healthy and Happy


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

Walgreen (NYSE:WAG) was unceremoniously evicted from its favorite address yesterday, but the company may have turned a corner today. Shares are currently recouping some of Tuesday's 1.70% tumble after scoring a broker boost. The giant drug retailer has slipped for four straight sessions amid a third-quarter earnings miss and uncertain fiscal 2016 forecasts. However, its stock did hit a historic high only last week.
If our Secretary of State John Kerry, who had his hands full in Iraq yesterday, will forgive the phrase -- investors were for equities before they were against them against them. The Dow (INDEXDJX:.DJI) and S&P 500 (INDEXSP:.INX), having both been up earlier, ended firmly in the red amid more mayhem by the banks of the Tigris. With war drums beating ever more loudly, today's headline equity Walgreen slumped 1.70% after steadfastly refusing to allow Boots on the ground. Despite the Dow's triple-digit decline, economic data was decidedly decent. Indeed new-home sales saw their biggest one-month increase since early 1992. That was when President George H. W. Bush was billed by Billary as being out of touch with ordinary Americans after expressing astonishment at a supermarket scanner. (My, how the wheel has come full circle.) The multimillionaire former first couple of Arkansas presumably now have stock options in FedEx (NYSE:FDX), which was actually founded in Little Rock and yesterday hit the highest level in its history. Boston Red Sox and Liverpool soccer club owner John Henry, who bears more than a passing resemblance to Bush père, suffered as his Luis Suarez bit the hand that feeds him yet again. But there was better news for Beantown as hometown hero Vertex Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ:VRTX) surged 40.41% to top the Nasdaq (INDEXNASDAQ:.IXIC) by a mile, even as the city's housing market continued to soar. Elsewhere bullion gained for a fifth straight session after Berlin said we can hold its gold after all. A nice gesture ahead of tomorrow's eagerly anticipated soccer game between the two countries trying to get their hands on that 18-carat trophy first won by West Germany in 1974.
Today's quarterly earnings announcements include Apollo Education (NASDAQ:APOL), Barnes & Noble (NYSE:BKS), General Mills (NYSE:GIS), and Monsanto (NYSE:MON).
Now let's analyze this morning's analyst upgrades, a group encompassing a clothing company and railroad stock as well as our aforementioned Walgreen.

Alstom (OTCMKTS:ALSMY): The French firm gets hoisted to Buy from Hold at Deutsche Bank.
Brunswick Corp (NYSE:BC): KeyBanc Capital Markets moves the bowling and boating behemoth to Buy from Hold.
Kraton Performance Polymers (NYSE:KRA): Share are upgraded to Outperform from Perform with a $30 price objective at Oppenheimer, which cites solid earnings and $65 million in cost synergies.
Men's Wearhouse (NYSE:MW): Cowen increases its investment assessment to Outperform from Perform. Its target price, previously $52, is taken up to $65.
Restoration Hardware (NYSE:RH): Bank of America Merrill Lynch lifts its rating to Buy from Neutral.
Trinity Industries (NYSE:TRN): Railroad outfit TRN gets taken to Buy from Neutral at UBS.
Walgreen: Jefferies juices today's headline equity to Buy from Hold.
Zulily (NASDAQ:ZU): Shares get upgraded to Buy from Neutral at Goldman Sachs.
Also see:

New Stock Coverage: Luis Suarez Should Sink His Teeth Into Whole Foods

Stock Downgrades: Harley-Davidson in Hog Hell
No positions in stocks mentioned.
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