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Stock Upgrades: Charles Schwab Is No Two Buck Chuck

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

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Charles Schwab (NYSE:SCHW), today's headline upgrade, recently reported an impressive 60% annual increase in its first-quarter earnings. Results were helped by solid trading revenue and steady fees for money management. Cynics will say, however, that the retail investor's belated return to the stock market almost invariably marks a top in equities.

Warren Buffett has lately hogged all the headlines, but come Monday" his "cousin" Jimmy took center stage. On Cinco de Mayo, Mr. Market was, if not wasted again in Margaritaville, certainly mildly tipsy as blue chips ended up slightly. And a pirate looks at 40 proved plenty profitable as Odyssey Marine Exploration (NASDAQ:OMEX) surged 7.58% after unearthing a Treasure Island's worth of shipwrecked bounty -- more gold ingots than Long John Silver. Thus did yet another hedge fund honcho have to eat crow even as the flawed moguls worshiped at the feet of Ira Sohn. Moving from Ryan Morris to Ryanair (NASDAQ:RYAAY), the budget Dublin-based aviation outfit that unleashed a wave of boozy bachelor party Brits on Riga tumbled 2.86% on a rating reduction. (Alas, these days, Latvia has much more to worry about than inebriated Englishmen evacuating their bladders on the country's sacred monuments.) At least Irish eyes -- boy, they are big -- were smiling elsewhere as the Emerald Isle's own King Digital Entertainment (NYSE:KING) advanced 8.49% on a rash of upbeat ratings.
 
Today's quarterly earnings announcements include Discovery Communications (NASDAQ:DISCA), Electronic Arts (NASDAQ:EA), First Solar (NASDAQ:FSLR), Walt Disney (NYSE:DIS), and Whole Foods (NASDAQ:WFM).
 
Now let's analyze this morning's upgrades, a group that encompasses not only our aforementioned Charles Schwab but also a biotech and energy outfit.

Anadarko Petroleum (NYSE:APC): Shares are boosted to Buy from Neutral at Citigroup. The price objective, previously $112, increases to $115.
 
Bill Barrett (NYSE:BBG): Mizuho moves the stock to Buy from Neutral.
 
BroadSoft (NASDAQ:BSFT): The equity is increased to Outperform from Perform at Raymond James.
 
CareFusion (NYSE:CFN): Goldman Sachs gives the stock a Neutral-from-Sell upgrade.
 
Charles Schwab (NYSE:SCHW): Today's headline stock is taken to Outperform from Neutral at Credit Suisse.
 
Danske Bank (OTCMKTS:DNSKY): Shares are now Outperform from Neutral, again at Credit Suisse.
 
DreamWorks Animation (NASDAQ:DWA): Morgan Stanley moves the stock to Equal-Weight from Underweight.
 
Essent Group (NYSE:ESNT): ESNT is increased to Outperform from Neutral at Macquarie.
 
Seattle Genetics (NASDAQ:SGEN): Bank of America Merrill Lynch lifts the biotech to Neutral from Underperform, sending it up ahead of the open.

Also see:

New Stock Coverage: Zoe's Kitchen Can Take the Heat

Stock Downgrades: Target Lady Is in the Crosshairs and About to Wiig Out
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No positions in stocks mentioned.
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