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Stock Upgrades: Bubble Wrap Maker Sealed Air Corp Poised for Nice Pop


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

The battle between the silver-haired lady and gray-haired guy was won by the latter. Despite Christine Lagarde's International Monetary Fund cutting global growth forecasts, shares ended up for fourth straight session after speculation about a Bill Ackman stake in FedEx (FDX) saw the economic bellwether increase 4.37%. Caterpillar (CAT), where Rick Perry just called it quits in Texas - in the nick of time, it appears - was the Dow (^DJI)'s top dog, ending up 2.56%. Prestige Brands (PBH), which makes Murine ear wax removal, heard the sweet sound of money talking with an analyst-inspired 10.91% gain. (The company, now worth a pretty penny, really ought to exercise greater caution in the placement of its price tags, however.) And British newspaper distributor Smiths News Plc (LON:NWS) surged 7.69%. The country's ink-stained inhabitants clearly enjoy reading their local dailies. Especially when they are in them.

Today in economics, May wholesale inventories are expected to increase from April's amount at 10:00 a.m. Eastern. In earnings action, Burberry Group (BURBY), Chevron (CVX), Family Dollar Stores (FDO), Supervalu (SVU), and Yum Brands (YUM) are all due to report results.

Alliant Techsystems Inc. (ATK): Shares are increased to Sector Perform from Underperform at RBC Capital

Cliffs Natural Resources Inc (CLF): A welcome respite for the troubled iron ore outfit, today taken to Buy from Hold at BB&T Capital. Shares are presently trading about 3.4% higher after CEO Joseph Carraba said he will leave.

Deutsche Bank AG (USA) (DB): Credit Suisse upgrades its fellow financial firm to Outperform from Neutral.

Fortinet Inc. (FTNT): The application software outfit is hoisted to Buy from Hold at Jefferies.

Golar LNG Partners LP (GMLP): Bank of America-Merrill Lynch lifts the limited partnership to Buy from Neutral.

Hewlett-Packard Company (HPQ): A second upgrade in as many days for the rebounding tech titan, today taken up an unusual 180 degrees (Buy from Sell) at Citigroup. The price objective, previously $16, is now $32 amid optimism about $3 billion in cost cuts. Shares are currently trading up about 2% ahead of today's opening bell as a result.

Norsk Hydro ASA (ADR) (NHYDY): Goldman gives the Norwegian aluminium name a Neutral-from-Sell upgrade.

Sealed Air Corp (SEE): The Bubble Wrap maker is moved to Overweight from Equal Weight with JPMorgan.

Supermarket Stocks: In the wake of yesterday's merger activity in the North American grocery space, a trio of European equivalients get upgrades at BNP Paribas. Koninklijke Ahold N.V. (AHONY) and WM MORRISON SUPERMAR (MRWSY) are each now Neutral from Underperform, while Tesco PLC (TSCDY) is taken to Outperform from Neutral.

Tahoe Resources Inc (TAHO): Shares are taken to Outperform from Perform at CIBC World Markets.

Walter Energy, Inc. (WLT): Raymond James raises its recommendation on the coal company to Market Perform from Underperform.

(See also: Stock Downgrades: Losing Faith In True Religion Apparel, Inc. and New Stock Coverage: Mister Market Falls Head Over Heels for Yahoo! Inc.'s Marissa Mayer.)
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