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Stock Upgrades: AMC Networks Is No Dead Man Walking

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

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If it's any consolation for those Syrian camels currently cowering in the desert, Hump Day did see the Dow (INDEXDJX:.DJI) score its first increase of the week. With D-Day for Damascus apparently still up in the air, Vestas Wind Systems (OTCMKTS:VWDRY) - based in indecisive old Hamlet's home country of Denmark - surged some 5.11%. That was an especially nice touch, as Bob Dylan's civil rights anthem "Blowin' in the Wind" was released in August 1963, a month that was much on our minds yesterday. Not all enjoyed the rising tide, with Gillette owner Procter & Gamble (NYSE:PG) plunging 1.44% to lead blue chip laggards. Caught between unshaven Brooklyn hipsters and decidedly un-hip hirsute dudes down south, the company currently can't catch a break. Elsewhere, Bank of England Governor Mark Carney addressed business leaders in Nottingham, heartland of Robin Hood. However, it seems that these days there is no longer a need to steal from the rich, as the poor have apparently already inherited the Earth.

In today's corporate earnings action, Campbell Soup (NYSE:CPB), JA Solar (NASDAQ: JASO), Krispy Kreme Doughnuts (NYSE:KKD), L'Oréal (OTCMKTS:LRLCY), Pall Corp (NYSE:PLL), Pernod Ricard (OTCMKTS:PDRDY), Salesforce.com (NYSE:CRM), Signet Jewelers (NYSE:SIG), Splunk (NASDAQ:SPLK), Vivendi (OTCMKTS:VIVHY), and WPP Plc (OTCMKTS:WPPGF) are all due to release results.

AMC Networks Inc (NASDAQ:AMCX): The broadcaster of shows such as Mad Men and Breaking Bad gets a Buy-from-Neutral boost at B. Riley & Co. In the broker's estimation, a 15% plunge in the stock price since its August 8 earnings provides investors with an attractive entry point, especially ahead of catalysts including season four of The Walking Dead.

Cash America International, Inc. (NYSE:CSH): FBR Capital moves the pawnbroker to Outperform from Market Perform, in the process increasing its price objective to $50. Catalysts include accretive acquisitions and an uptick in online domestic lending.

Entergy Corporation (NYSE:ETR): The electric utility gets upgraded to Buy from Neutral at ISI Group.

Infosys Ltd (NYSE:INFY): Macquarie moves the Indian outsourcing and information technology name to Outperform from Neutral.

Mohawk Industries, Inc. (NYSE:MHK): Raymond James moves the floor coverings firm to Strong Buy from Outperform.

Semiconductor Manufacturing International (NYSE:SMI): Sanford Bernstein boosts the Chinese chip stock to Market Perform from Underperform.

US Physical Therapy, Inc. (NYSE:USPH): The stock is now Buy from Hold at Noble Financial.

Wolseley plc (OTCMKTS:WOSYY): The Swiss plumbing products powerhouse is increased to Buy from Neutral at Citigroup.

(See also: Stock Downgrades: Rotten Tomatoes for The Fresh Market and New Stock Coverage: Stock Up on Sovran Self Storage)
No positions in stocks mentioned.
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