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Stock Upgrades: Chipotle Mexican Grill Stock Set to Head North


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

Stocks, Stockton, Stockman. Whatever, these days it's all about the Benjamins. Equities advanced to yet another record high even if trading volume was once again anemic.

Hertz (HTZ) jumped 6.85% but there was a capital flight from airlines, with Delta (DAL) dropping 8.06% the sector enduring its worst day since a June swoon. (Hey, if this guy was chasing me in an airport, I'd hightail it outta there as quick as I could, too.)

In an April Fools' joke that was a day late and several million dollars short, the single worst stock on the Nasdaq (^IXIC) was... shunned Nasdaq (NDAQ), which tumbled 12.81%. And Bank of America (BAC)-Merrill Lynch downgraded its downtown New York neighbor Goldman Sachs (GS). The companies sit literally a stone's throw away from each other and after that, the distance may be about to be tested a little too literally.

Today in economics, analysts expect a slight slippage in the Institute for Supply Management's services index at 10:00 a.m. Eastern. On the corporate front, ConAgra Foods (CAG) and Monsanto (MON) have each announced earnings this morning.

Affiliated Managers (AMG): The money manager gets a Buy-from-Neutral boost at Bank of America-Merrill Lynch.

Alexza Pharmaceuticals (ALXA): Piper Jaffray juices its rating to Overweight from Neutral.

Atmel (ATML): Shares are increased to Outperform from Market Perform at FBR Capital, whose price objective also goes up to $8.25 from $7.50. The broker would be buyers on any weakness arising from the departure of Chief Financial Officer Stephen Cumming.

Brinker International (EAT): EAT is increased to Outperform from Market Perform at Raymond James.

Carlyle Group (CG): The limited partnership is lifted to Buy from Neutral at Bank of America-Merrill Lynch.

Chipotle Mexican Grill (NYSE:CMG): Raymond James raises the fast food firm to Market Perform from Underperform.

Dollar Tree (DLTR): The discount retailer gets raised to Overweight from Equal-Weight at Morgan Stanley.

Greenbrier (GBX): The company gets boosted to Positive from Neutral at Susquehanna.

Key Energy (KEG): Shares are upgraded to Outperform from Perform with a $10 target at FBR Capital, which says catalysts include a compelling valuation and contracting US land market.

NextEra Energy (NEE): Goldman Sachs adds the equity to its list of Conviction Buys.

Panera Bread (PNRA): Raymond James raises its recommendation to Market Perform from Underperform.

SolarWinds (SWI): Shares are moved to Equal-Weight from Underweight at Morgan Stanley.

Tidewater (TDW): TDW is taken to Accumulate from Hold at Tudor Pickering.

Xcel Energy (XEL): Goldman gives the name a Buy-from-Neutral boost, sending it up nicely before this morning's opening bell.

(See also: New Stock Coverage: Six Flags Is a Fine Place to Park Your Money and Stock Downgrades: Dog Days Ahead at Caterpillar.)
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