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Stock Upgrades: Cisco Systems, Inc. Is on the Right Route


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

While big fish still apparently prefer to ride the subway, perhaps inspired by the example of Wall Street's most notorious shark, it was four wheels that proved infinitely more profitable yesterday. Dow Industrials (^DJI) avoided their first four-session swoon of 2013, swept up with the ebullience surrounding electric car maker Tesla Motors (TSLA). The company owned by Mr. Musk, a proud son of Pretoria, rose 14.34% to a fresh best. Elsewhere Nike Inc (NKE), whose recent experience with South Africans has been somewhat less savory, took its 12-month increase to 37.75% on a broker boost. And along-lost silent Orson Wells movie surfaced, called Too Much Johnson. Judging by this morning's mayhem in JC Penney (JCP), Bill Ackman - for whom silence is anathema - is already hard at work on a sequel.

Today in economics, June wholesale inventories are predicted to pick up from the prior month's pace at 10:00 a.m. Eastern. In earnings action, expect Arkansas Best (ABFS), Beacon Roofing Supply (BECN), Harvest Natural Resources (HNR), Sterling Construction (STRL), and Whitewave Foods (WWAV) to report results.

Accenture (ACN): The consulting company is raised to Outperform from Neutral by Robert W. Baird, which cites offshore Information Technology growth and a gradual macroeconomic improvement in Europe among other favorable factors. Its price objective, previously $78, is now $86.

Aviva (AV): Bank of America-Merrill Lynch lifts the London-based life insurance firm to Buy from Neutral.

Breitburn Energy (BBEP): BBEP is boosted to Buy from Neutral at Citigroup.

Bruker Corporation (BRKR): The scientific and technical instruments outfit is taken to Buy from Neutral at Bank of America-Merrill.

Cisco Systems, Inc. (NASDAQ:CSCO): The provider of Internet routers and switches, a key Dow (^DJI) component, is now Neutral from Underweight at JPMorgan. Shares are showing strength ahead of this morning's opening bell as a result.

Commerzbank (CRZBY): BNP Paribas increases the German financial giant to Outperform from Neutral.

Geron (GERN): Piper Jaffray upgrades the biotech to Overweight from Neutral.

HeartWare (HTWR): HTWR is hoisted to Outperform from Neutral at Credit Suisse.

HSBC Holdings (HBC): Jefferies juices its investment opinion on Europe's biggest bank to Buy from Hold.

IHS Inc. (IHS): Deutsche Bank gives the information and analytics outfit a Buy-from-Hold boost.

Intrepid Potash (IPI): The recently-slumping stock gets boosted to Buy from Hold at BGC Partners.

Kimco Realty (KIM): The retail Real Estate Investment Trust is raised to Buy from Neutral at Bank of America-Merrill Lynch.

Noah Holdings (NOAH): NOAH is now Outperform from Perform with an $18 price objective at Oppenheimer, which highlights the company's Gopher asset management business.

Royal Gold (RGLD): RBC Capital raises the commodity firm to Outperform from Market Perform.

St. Jude Medical (STJ): Shares get upgraded to Outperform from Market Perform with Wells Fargo.

Tim Hortons (THI): The Canadian coffee and donut company gets upgraded to Buy from Hold at Canaccord Genuity.

(See also: Stock Downgrades: Foot Locker, Inc. Kicked to the Curb and New Stock Coverage: Take-Two Interactive Software, Inc. Prepares to Party Like a Rockstar)
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