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Stock Upgrades: Chipotle Mexican Grill Stock Set to Head North

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

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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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No positions in stocks mentioned.
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