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Stock Upgrades: Don Draper Makes for Some Very Glad Men at AMC Networks


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

How interesting that yesterday was Neville Chamberlain's birthday. The appeaser of Munich made nice with Hitler, suggesting that a "quarrel in a far away country between people of whom we know nothing" was simply not worth the hassle. History has not been kind to him, and on Monday, issues in another distant locale again came home to roost.

Cyprus throwing little old ladies in tennis shoes under the bus simply to appease Russian money launderers did not go over well with world markets. Apropos of Churchill's unworthy predecessor, echoes of 1939 were everywhere yesterday.

Hewlett-Packard (HPQ) - which chose its name by virtue of a coin flip that year - rode an analyst upgrade to advance 2.93% and again best all blue chips (^DJI). (August 1939 also saw the signing of the Nazi-Soviet Non-Aggression Pact, the sort of realpolitik sham that Berlin and Moscow are apparently repeating in this latest installment of the eurozone's crisis.)

Elsewhere, what would Mr. Chamberlain make of his "nation of shopkeepers," in Napoleon's memorable formulation, now? Harrods has been famously owned by an Egyptian and news that Qatar may make a bid for Marks & Spencer (PINK:MAKSY) sent it surging 6.9%. And Borat can't catch a break; Kazakhstan's biggest copper producer Kazakhmys (PINK:KZMYY) imploded 11.51% to finish at a fresh four year low.

The Federal Open Market Committee starts its two-day policy meeting this morning in Washington D.C. In earnings action, AAR Corp. (AIR), Adobe Systems (ADBE), Cintas (CTAS), DSW Inc. (DSW), Francesca Holdings (FRAN), and William-Sonoma (WSM) are all due to report results.

AMC Networks (NASDAQ:AMCX): The Mad Men broadcaster is moved to Equal Weight from Underweight at Evercore.

América Móvil (AMX): Carlos Slim's stock may be set for fat gains today after being increased to Equal-Weight from Underweight at Morgan Stanley.

eBay Inc. (EBAY): Cantor upgrades the online auctioneer to Buy from Hold, sending it up 1.56% in pre-market trading at present.

Hain Celestial (HAIN): Longbow lifts the name to Buy from Neutral, sending it higher ahead of the open.

HSBC Holdings (HBC): The bank, Europe's biggest by many metrics, gets a Buy-from-Hold boost at Shore Capital.

Infinera (INFN): Goldman Sachs gives the tech name a Neutral-from-Sell upgrade.

Panera Bread (PNRA): Shares are moved to Outperform from Market Perform by BMO Capital.

Patterson Companies (PDCO): The oil services outfit is now Buy from Neutral at UBS.

Rémy Cointreau (PINK:REMYF): HSBC hoists the French cognac king to Overweight from Neutral.

Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS): Shares in the Edinburgh-based financial firm are raised to Hold from Sell at Investec.

Telefónica (TEF): Continuing today's European research tour, the Spanish telecom titan gets taken to Overweight from Equal-Weight at Morgan Stanley.

Yamana Gold (AUY): Cowen & Company gives the bullion stock a boost to Buy from Hold. Catalysts include an impressive cost structure and compelling valuation.

(See also: New Stock Coverage: Google's Search Party Just Getting Started and Stock Downgrades: Looks Like Investors Are Finally Starting to See Through Lululemon.)
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