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Stock Upgrades: Don't Expect Netflix, Inc.'s House of Cards to Come Crashing Down Anytime Soon

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

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Equity markets advanced again, and if the Dow's (^DJI) 27th record of 2013 sounds like a broken record, yesterday it was one of those old-timey 78s that did the trick. Blue chips rose by 78 points after Ben Bernanke, in likely his last appearance on Capitol Hill, told investors what they wanted to hear. (Good riddance, likely say our lawmakers, after the Fed head wasted no time in telling his audience that the recovery is on track "despite the strong headwinds created by federal fiscal policy.") Overseas, advertising giant Publicis Groupe (EPA:PUB) gained 3.42% to a fresh 52-week peak. Its Saatchi & Saatchi unit propelled Mrs. Thatcher to power with its iconic Labour Isn't Working campaign ad at a time of horrendously high unemployment. Maggie famously wasn't much for turning, and Meredith may want to similarly stand her ground. Ms. Whitney has come in for some withering criticism in recent weeks, but those who say her 15 minutes of fame are over may be off by three-quarters of an hour after Detroit announced the largest municipal bankruptcy in American history.

No top-tier economic data due today, but the first full week of Q2 reporting season concludes with earnings expected out of Baker Hughes (BHI), General Electric (GE), Honeywell (HON), Ingersoll-Rand (IR), Rockwell Collins (COL), Schlumberger (SLB), Vodafone (VOD), and Whirlpool (WHR).

Archer-Daniels Midland (ADM): JPMorgan moves the agribusiness outfit to Neutral from Sell.

BlackBerry Ltd (BBRY): The firm, formerly known as Research In Motion, is raised to Market Perform from Underperform by BMO Capital.

Cepheid (CPHD): Piper Jaffray juices its recommendation to Overweight from Equal Weight.

Diageo (DEO): The British brewing behemoth, whose brands include Guinness and Johnnie Walker, gets an Overweight-from-Neutral boost by JPMorgan.

Extra Space Storage (EXT): Citing the company's above-average Funds From Operation growth, Cantor Fitzgerald increases its investment opinion to Hold from Sell. The price objective, previously $44, is taken to $47.

Fred's (FRED): The retailer is raised to Hold from Sell at Deutsche Bank.

Netflix, Inc. (NFLX): The video-streaming service, whose House of Cards just made Emmy history, is now Market Perform from Underperform at Northland Capital. The broker expects upside to Q2 earnings, and increases its target price to $225. The stock has surged some 227.81% in the past 12 months.

STAG Industrial (STAG): STAG gets upgraded to Outperform from Sector Perform at RBC Capital.

Subsea 7 (SUBCY): Deutsche Bank hoists the stock to Buy from Hold.

Synovus (SNV): Shares are upgraded to Buy from Neutral at Compass Point, which takes its target to $3.50 from $2.70. Encouragingly, the company is to raise capital to pay back its TARP (Troubled Asset Relief Program) commitments.

Technology Stocks: Disk drive makers Seagate (STX) and Western Digital (WDC) are each now Neutral from Sell at Citigroup.

(See also: New Stock Coverage: Fast Money Flees Sprint Nextel Corporation and Stock Downgrades: Microsoft Corporation's Woes Extend Way Beyond the Surface.)

Disclosure: Minyanville Studios, a division of Minyanville Media, Inc., has a business relationship with BlackBerry.
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No positions in stocks mentioned.
The information on this website solely reflects the analysis of or opinion about the performance of securities and financial markets by the writers whose articles appear on the site. The views expressed by the writers are not necessarily the views of Minyanville Media, Inc. or members of its management. Nothing contained on the website is intended to constitute a recommendation or advice addressed to an individual investor or category of investors to purchase, sell or hold any security, or to take any action with respect to the prospective movement of the securities markets or to solicit the purchase or sale of any security. Any investment decisions must be made by the reader either individually or in consultation with his or her investment professional. Minyanville writers and staff may trade or hold positions in securities that are discussed in articles appearing on the website. Writers of articles are required to disclose whether they have a position in any stock or fund discussed in an article, but are not permitted to disclose the size or direction of the position. Nothing on this website is intended to solicit business of any kind for a writer's business or fund. Minyanville management and staff as well as contributing writers will not respond to emails or other communications requesting investment advice.

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