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Stock Upgrades: Best Buy About to Have a Holly Joly Christmas


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

On a decidedly bad day for hammers - John Boehner did not distinguish himself in Washington's latest debacle, while tool titan Stanley Black & Decker (NYSE:SWK) fell an NYSE-worst 14.26% - DC finally nailed down a deal. Our procrastinating politicians sent the Dow (INDEXDJX:.DJI) surging, and their can-kicking proved particularity profitable for Pepsi (NYSE:PEP), which ended up 2.07% on impressive earnings. (Incidentally, Newt may be one pol to have actually emerged from the mess with his reputation enhanced. His janitorial jobs proposal for our kids now looks slightly less nutty after one just hit it big at the soft drinks giant.) Amid much green ink elsewhere, Logitech (NASDAQ:LOGI) - the world's leading maker of computer mice - tumbled 2.91%. The rodents fared far better at Whole Foods (NASDAQ:WFM), however, with that stock riding a broker boost to end up 1.87% at an historic high. Its competitor Fairway (NASDAQ:FWM), which has always been much more partial to rats, rose 3.76%. And all those mice who gave their life to Geron (NASDAQ:GERN) did not die in vain, as that stock advanced 39.74% to top the Nasdaq (INDEXNASDAQ:.IXIC).

Today in economics, analysts call for a fall in October's Philadelphia Fed Index at 10:00 a.m. Eastern. On the quarter earnings front, expect announcements out of Capital One Financial (NYSE:COF), Chipotle Mexican Grill (NYSE:CMG), Goldman Sachs (NYSE:GS), Google (NASDAQ:GOOG), Phillip Morris (NYSE:PM), SABMiller (OTCMKTS:SBMRY), and Verizon (NYSE:VZ).

Advance Auto Parts (NYSE:AAP): Encouraged by the company's recent acquisition, Wedbush raises its recommendation to Outperform from Neutral.

Alliant Techsystems (NYSE:ATK): RBC Capital Markets moves the munitions maker to Outperform from Perform, taking its price target up to $122 from $109. A recent acquisition offers potential, the broker believes.

AMR Corporation (OTCMKTS:AAMRQ): The parent of American Airlines is now Overweight from Neutral at JPMorgan.

Best Buy (NYSE:BBY): The big box retailer was left for dead not long ago but, under its CEO Hubert Joly, is now second only to Netflix (NASDAQ:NFLX) for the title of top S&P 500 Index (INDEXSP:.INX) stock of 2013. Ahead of the crucial holiday shopping season, it scores an Outperform-from-Perform upgrade at Oppenheimer this morning.

Cliffs Natural Resources (NYSE:CLF): Cowen increases the iron ore outfit to Market Perform from Underperform amid a lack of downside risk. Its price objective is $20.

Equity Residential (NYSE:EQR): The Real Estate Investment Trust is raised to Outperform from Perform at Raymond James.

JinkoSolar (NYSE:JKS): Credit Suisse juices the Chinese alternative energy outfit to Outperform from Neutral.

SanDisk (NASDAQ:SNDK): Shares are now Strong Buy from Buy at Needham.

Scotts Miracle-Gro (NYSE:SMG): JPMorgan moves the equity to Overweight from Neutral.

(See also: Stock Downgrades: IBM Sings the Big Blues and New Stock Coverage: SolarCity Is a Musk-Own Stock)
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