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Stock Upgrades: Athenahealth Is in Fine Fettle


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

It didn't take 20/20 hindsight to know the Dow (^DJI) would gain for a 20th straight Tuesday, certainly not after the 20-city Case-Shiller home price index showed an ebullient real estate market. Also boosting bourses was consumer confidence reaching its highest level since February 2008, an unimaginably distant age when markets actually occasionally fell, and hard, on the week's second day.

Even Messrs. Case and Shiller have been known, as all couples do, to have the occasional tiff but Tiffany (TIF), up 3.95% at a fresh 52-week peak just in time for wedding season, brooked no argument. Nasdaq (^IXIC) is now up for 10 successive Tuesdays, matching a record it set in 1972. Back then Watergate was just starting to stir and if the current White House appears to be uneasily reliving that era, it could do worse than send for Merck's (MRK) White House Station-based men in white coats. It rose 0.98% on a broker boost.

Elsewhere Dole Food (DOLE) fell 5.88% and Netflix (NFLX) similarly failed to dodge a banana skin. It nosedived 6.36% as investors were somehow surprised that Arrested Development, a show that was no great ratings shakes first time around, should fare little better in its latest incarnation.

No top-tier economic data due today, but Brown Shoe (BWS), Chico's FAS (CHS), Copart (CPRT), Daktronics (DAKT), Michael Kors (KORS), Movado Group (MOV), Sberbank Russia (OTCMKTS:AKSJF), Tata Motors (TTM), The Fresh Market (TFM), and Tootsie Roll (TR) are all expected to release results.

Analog Devices (ADI): Citing the company's impressive shareholder return policy, Citigroup takes the tech stock to Buy from Neutral.

Athenahealth (NASDAQ:ATHN): Shares get raised to Strong Buy from Outperform at Raymond James

Delhaize Group (DEG): The Belgian grocery giant gets upgraded to Overweight from Neutral at JPMorgan.

Denbury Resources (DNR): Credit Suisse raises its recommendation to Outperform from Neutral.

EnerNOC (ENOC): The business services outfit, which fell 15.86% on Tuesday, today gets a Strong Buy-from-Outperform upgrade at Raymond James.

Palo Alto Networks (PANW): Pacific Crest takes the tech name to Outperform from Sector Perform.

Peugeot (OTCMKTS:PEUGY): HSBC Securities hoists the French car company to Neutral from Underweight.

Sonus Networks (SONS): The tech name, which surged 7.08% yesterday, is now Buy from Hold at Jefferies. Shares are, accordingly, showing further strength ahead of this morning's opening bell.

(See also: New Stock Coverage: SeaWorld Set to Make a Splash and Stock Downgrades: Javelin Mortgage Is a Falling Knife.)
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