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Stock Upgrades: Yo, Adrian! Netflix Doesn't Need Rocky to Pack a Punch


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

At the stroke of midnight Netflix (NASDAQ:NFLXpulled the plug on 80 movies, among them RockyRocky IIRocky III, and Rocky IV. (As a child of the '80s, how I miss that infinitely more original era at the box office, back before Hollywood became obsessed with sequels.) The stock -- last year's top S&P 500 (INDEXSP:.INX) performer -- still looks like a knockout today, up 4.13% after getting upgraded at Goldman Sachs (NYSE:GS). International expansion opportunities that our longtime readers know all about are identified as a key catalyst, along with profit margin increases.
The S&P 500 Index (INDEXSP:.INX) ended up for a sixth straight quarter in its best such streak since 1998. That year, if I recall correctlyThere's Something About Mary bested all comers at the box office. As a besieged Ms. Barra can attest at General Motors (NYSE:GM), it seems there still is. In 1998 our president was a man who famously "didn't inhale," but that may not have been a wise move. Yesterday MannKind (NASDAQ:MNKD) enjoyed one giant leap, jumping 9.60% to a fresh peak on approval of its inhaled insulin Afrezza. (To be fair to Bill, he also empathized "I feel your pain" and Pain Therapeutics (NASDAQ:PTIE) did just increase 5.12%.) Seth MacFarlane claimed Facebook (NASDAQ:FBstole his kidney and a broker boost sent kidney care company DaVita (NYSE:DVA) to a fresh best. Hooker Furniture (NASDAQ:HOFT), which probably should change its name, gained 7.74%, and Orient-Express Hotels (NYSE:OEH), which inexplicably changed its name to a far more forgettable Belmond Ltd. eased up 0.76%. Manchester United (NYSE:MANU) tumbled 2.19% amid acrimony over Bebe, and Bebe (NASDAQ:BEBE) lost 3.17% on a rating reduction.
Today in 10:00 a.m. EDT economic data, May construction spending and June's Institute for Supply Management manufacturing index are each expected to tick up. On the corporate front, Paychex (NASDAQ:PAYX) is the pick of quarterly earnings announcements.
Now let's analyze this morning's research recommendations, a group encompassing a surging oil services outfit as well as our aforementioned Netflix.

Amicus Therapeutics (NASDAQ:FOLD): Leerink Partners lifts its rating to Outperform from Perform.
comScore (NASDAQ:SCOR): Shares are now Buy from Neutral at Goldman Sachs, which cites better ad measurement trends.
Daily Mail and General Trust (OTCMKTS:DMTGY): Barclays boosts the British media outfit to Overweight from Equal Weight.
iGATE Corp (NASDAQ:IGTE): The stock gets hoisted to Buy from Hold at Jefferies.
Nabors Industries (NYSE:NBR): Raymond James juices its recommendation to Outperform from Perform on the oil services stock, a stellar performer in the first half of 2014.
Netflix: Today's headline equity is now Buy from Neutral at Goldman.
Rio Tinto (NYSE:RIO): Shares in the mining company are showing strength overseas today after Bank of America Merrill moved it to Buy from Neutral due to signs of stabilization in iron ore prices.

Also see:
New Stock Coverage: Priceline Goes to Pluto With Captain Kirk

Stock Downgrades: Xerox's Burns Gets the Third Degree
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