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Stock Upgrades: Marissa Mayer Puts Yahoo Back in Vogue

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

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Say what you want about The Wolf of Wall Street - he certainly has the Midas touch in equities. First Mr. DiCaprio pockets a Golden Globe. (And incidentally, bullion subsequently ended up nicely even amid yesterday's bloodbath.) Then Beam Inc (NYSE:BEAM), the object of his affection, surges 25.56% after being bought by a Japanese firm for $16 billion. Leo's loathsome alter ego, who took to Twitter (NYSE:TWTR) to hail the award, saw that stock advance 1.44%, but otherwise it was an awful session in US equity markets as the Dow (INDEXDJX:.DJI) dropped for a fourth straight day. Still, who needs Miller Time when it's Suntory time, as Bill Murray memorably opined in Lost in Translation. Alas, his co-star in that movie, Scarlett Johansson, could only watch with horror as SodaStream (NASDAQ:SODA) - freshly endorsed by the actress - nose-dived a Nasdaq (INDEXNASDAQ:IXIC)-worst 25.96%. Meanwhile PepsiCo (NYSE:PEP) imploded 1.35% despite its mouthpiece Sofia Vergara having struck a similarly seductive pose. Elsewhere, irony abounded as TiVo Inc. (NASDAQ:TIVO) tumbled 4.82% on a rating reduction, this only 24 hours after arguably the most lucrative day in its entire history.

In terms of economic events that may move US stock markets today, consensus calls for November 2013 business inventories to contract from the prior month's pace when they are announced at 10:00 a.m. Eastern. Regarding specific stocks, JPMorgan (NYSE:JPM) and Wells Fargo (NYSE:WFC) got quarterly earnings season underway for the big banks with their releases of results.

AstraZeneca (NYSE:AZN): Leerink lifts the British pharmaceutical firm to Outperform from Market Perform.

British Sky Broadcasting (OTCMKTS:BSYBY): Staying in Merrie Olde England, this stock is sharply higher in today's London trading on the back of a Buy-from-Neutral boost at UBS.

Brocade (NASDAQ:BRCD): JPMorgan moves the stock to Overweight from Neutral.

Cameco (NYSE:CCJ): Shares are now Buy from Neutral at Bank of America-Merrill Lynch.

Cliffs Natural Resources (NYSE:CLF): This iron ore outfit was an utterly awful performer in 2013 but, citing the potential for acquisition-fueled growth, Deutsche Bank hoists it to Buy from Hold.

Google (NASDAQ:GOOG): Google stock gets upgraded to Outperform from Market Perform with Wells Fargo. The Internet giant, which just bought Nest Labs for $3.2 billion, is accordingly seeing its stock advance ahead of this morning's opening bell.

Intel (NASDAQ:INTC): JPMorgan moves stock in Intel, a key Dow (INDEXDJX:.DJI) component, to Overweight from Neutral.

Jabil Circuit (NYSE:JBL): Shares are now Buy from Neutral at Goldman Sachs, which pays it the additional honor of adding the stock to its list of Conviction Buys.

Juniper Networks (NYSE:JNPR): Oppenheimer increases its investment assessment to Outperform from Perform.

Logitech International (NASDAQ:LOGI): The Swiss-based computer mouse maker gets moved to Buy from Neutral at Goldman.

Luxottica Group (NYSE:LUX): LUX is raised to Neutral from Reduce at Nomura.

Pan American Silver (NASDAQ:PAAS): Deutsche Bank takes the commodity company to Buy from Hold.

Southern Copper (NYSE:SCCO): Staying in the sector, SCCO is upgraded to Outperform from Perform at FBR Capital. Catalysts include the prospect of 58% growth in EBITDA (Earnings Before Interest, Taxes, Depreciation and Amortization.)

Stanley Black & Decker (NYSE:SWK): KeyBanc boosts the equity to Buy from Hold.

United States Steel (NYSE:X): Shares get moved to Outperform from Market Perform by BMO Capital.

VeriFone Systems (NYSE:PAY): JPMorgan raises its recommendation to Overweight from Neutral.

Yahoo (NASDAQ:YHOO): With her odd upside-down Vogue pose still fresh in the memory, many astute Silicon Valley judges say Marissa Mayer is much more style than substance. There is, however, no doubting her impact on Yahoo stock, which has advanced 107.31% in the past year alone and only last week hit a post-2008 peak. Today shares are increased to Buy from Fair Value at CRT Capital.

See also:

New Stock Coverage: Spider in the Shower? You Won't Take a Bath in Facebook

Stock Downgrades: Microsoft Isn't Built Ford Tough
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No positions in stocks mentioned.
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