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Stock Upgrades: Carnival Catches a Wave

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

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Carnival Corporation (NYSE:CCL) shares, up 1.57% yesterday, are adding on another 2.29% ahead of the open after a broker boost. The analyst says cost cuts and a rebounding leisure-travel consumer each augur well for the company. Separately, Carnival said it will add a couple of Australian ships to its P&O Cruises segment in 2015.
 
In Cannes, a risqué movie about a finance type has chins all a-wagging on the French Riviera. Meanwhile, Credit Suisse (NYSE:CS) just got slapped with a $2.6 billion fine for tax-dodging shenanigans that included stuffing bank statements in copies of Sports Illustrated. Such James Bond-style excitement was a world away from Wall Street on Monday, where blue chips barely budged amid anemic trading volume and a dearth of economic data. A disowned AstraZeneca (NYSE:AZN) tumbled 12.01% in its worst showing for a dozen years after rejecting Pfizer (NYSE:PFE), the midtown Manhattan company that conveniently started saying, "Kiss me, I'm Irish" right around Saint Patrick's Day. Ryanair (NASDAQ:RYAAY), which really is Irish, surged 7.26% in its single best session since October 2008. Meanwhile, Manchester United (NYSE:MANU) fell 1.07% after another Ryan (Giggs) called time on a professional playing career that began on March 2, 1991, the week that Dow Industrials (INDEXDJX:.DJI) first broke 3,000, and George Bush Sr. -- his approval rating at 90%-plus after the first Gulf War -- was a shoo-in for reelection.
 
There aren't any top-tier economic data due today, but expect quarterly earnings announcements out of Home Depot (NYSE:HD), Dick's Sporting Goods (NYSE:DKS), and Staples (NASDAQ:SPLS).
 
Now let's analyze this morning's upgrades, a group encompassing a firearms firm in addition to our aforementioned Carnival Corporation.

Acxiom (NASDAQ:ACXM): Shares get upgraded to Outperform from Market Perform with Wells Fargo.
 
Carnival Corporation: Morgan Stanley moves the stock to Equal Weight from Underweight.
 
Community Health (NYSE:CYH): Bank of America Merrill Lynch adds CYH to its US 1 list of favored equities.
 
DealerTrack (NASDAQ:TRAK): TRAK is taken to Outperform from Neutral at Macquarie.
 
Dow Chemical (NYSE:DOW): Wells increases its investment assessment to Outperform from Market Perform.
 
Invesco (NYSE:IVZ): The financial firm is now Overweight from Neutral at JPMorgan.
 
Iridium Communications (NASDAQ:IRDM): Raymond James raises its recommendation to Strong Buy from Outperform.
 
Seaspan (NYSE:SSW): Shares get an Overweight-from-Equal Weight boost by Barclays. The price objective, previously $25, increases to $30.
 
Smith & Wesson (NASDAQ:SWHC): Wedbush raises the company to Outperform from Neutral and also takes its target price up by $7 to $20.
 
Also see:

New Stock Coverage: If It's Tuesday, This Must Be Belgium for Netflix

Stock Downgrades: Even 'America's Mayor' Can't Save LifeLock
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No positions in stocks mentioned.
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