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Stock Upgrades: Wisconsin Energy Brings in Milwaukee Bucks


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

Milwaukee-based electric utility Wisconsin Energy (NYSE:WEC) scores a broker boost this morning after its $9.1 billion acquisition of gas outfit Integrys Energy Group (NYSE:TEG) on Monday, a move that sent the latter's shares surging 12.14%.
On the day we discovered that a 15-year-old record for fútbol viewership had finally been eclipsed in the US, equities were unfortunately unable to party like it was 1999. (Although, unlike Brandi Chastain that year, investors were in absolutely no danger of losing their shirts.) The Dow (INDEXDJX:.DJI) and S&P 500 (INDEXSP:.INX) each snapped six-session winning streaks despite impressive manufacturing data in China, whom Ms. Chastain so memorably vanquished a decade and a half ago. A soccer match lasts 90 minutes, which equates exactly to the typical sleep cycle, and one could hardly blame Yahoo's (NASDAQ:YHOOMarissa Mayer for nodding off. It was another anemic trading session, with the ninth lightest volume of the year. Some stocks did their level best to enliven the activity. With our economy ever more tied to Beijing, China Cord Blood (NYSE:CO) gained 8.60% to a fresh best. They eat dogs there, don't they? Far safer, as we start the dog days of summer, to stick with the downward dogs of yoga apparel outfit Lululemon Athletica (NASDAQ:LULU) after its 2.54% advance. Alas American Apparel (NYSEMKT:APP) tumbled 2.47% as its recently dismissed canine-carrying founder remained firmly in the doghouse. Elsewhere no one was crying for Argentina as its main Merval Index (BCBA:IAR) jumped 11.21%. Investors were, however, crying over spilled milk as dairy powerhouse Dean Foods (NYSE:DF) found itself ensnared in an insider-trading subpoena.
Today in economics analysts expect increases in May new-home sales and June consumer confidence, each released at 10:00 a.m. EDT. On the earnings front, Apogee Enterprises (NASDAQ:APOG), Carnival (NYSE:CCL), and Walgreen (NYSE:WAG) all report results.
Now let's analyze this morning's research recommendations, which includes a German car company and surging semiconductor stock along with our aforementioned Wisconsin Energy.

ASOS (OTCMKTS:ASOMF): Shares are now Buy from Neutral at Nomura.
BMW Group (OTCMKTS:BAMXY): UBS boosts the car company to Buy from Neutral, sending it up in today's overseas trading.
Methanex (NASDAQ:MEOH): MEOH gets moved to Outperform from Market Perform by BMO Capital. Its price objective, previously $68, also increases by $5.
Micron (NASDAQ:MU): Shares are showing strength ahead of the open after Needham raised the semiconductor name to Strong Buy from Buy amid its improved gross margins. The target price is also taken up, by $10 to $50.
Spirit Realty Capital (NYSE:SRC): Bank of America Merrill Lynch lifts the stock to Buy from Neutral.
Wisconsin Energy: Today's headline upgrade gets increased to Outperform from Market Perform with Wells Fargo.

Also see:

New Stock Coverage: Much Like Marissa Mayer, Bed Bath & Beyond Needs a Nap

Stock Downgrades: Dr Pepper Snapple Not Worth Its Salt
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No positions in stocks mentioned.
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