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

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

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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)
No positions in stocks mentioned.
The information on this website solely reflects the analysis of or opinion about the performance of securities and financial markets by the writers whose articles appear on the site. The views expressed by the writers are not necessarily the views of Minyanville Media, Inc. or members of its management. Nothing contained on the website is intended to constitute a recommendation or advice addressed to an individual investor or category of investors to purchase, sell or hold any security, or to take any action with respect to the prospective movement of the securities markets or to solicit the purchase or sale of any security. Any investment decisions must be made by the reader either individually or in consultation with his or her investment professional. Minyanville writers and staff may trade or hold positions in securities that are discussed in articles appearing on the website. Writers of articles are required to disclose whether they have a position in any stock or fund discussed in an article, but are not permitted to disclose the size or direction of the position. Nothing on this website is intended to solicit business of any kind for a writer's business or fund. Minyanville management and staff as well as contributing writers will not respond to emails or other communications requesting investment advice.

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