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Stock Upgrades: Electronic Arts Isn't Playing Around


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

On March 26, 1957, a momentous day in the history of European integration, post-war continental kingpins could scarcely have conceived that their heirs would spend March 26, 2013 bailing out an economic basket case. But any soccer fan could have told you the EU was doomed to fail.

Just look at this weekend's matches. Bosnia-Herzegovina, which hosted genocide as recently as 1995, played Greece, the poster child for financial failure. Croatia took on Serbia amid chants of "Kill, Kill", and Ukraine played Poland, two countries who didn't exactly exude peace and harmony in a high profile tournament last summer. At least fútbol powerhouse Manchester United (MANU) bucked a bad tape to gain 1.33%.

After a quiet couple of sessions the pace of economic data picks up with two releases due at 10:00 a.m. Eastern, namely February new home sales and consumer confidence for March. On the corporate front, Bank of China (PINK:BACHY), Children's Place (PLCE), GOL Linhas Aéreas Inteligentes (GOL), Mattress Firm Holding (MFRM), Neogen (NEOG), and Turquoise Hill (TRQ) are all due to report results.

América Móvil (AMX): The Mexican telecom titan controlled by the world's richest man Carlos Slim is moved to Buy from Neutral at Bank of America-Merrill Lynch.

BroadSoft (BSFT): The tech stock gets a Market Perform from Underperform boost by Raymond James.

Electronic Arts (NASDAQ:EA): Piper Jaffray juices the video game giant, whose titles include Madden NFL and The Sims, to Overweight from Neutral. The stock, a strong performer so far in 2013, is seen benefiting from the launch of next-generation consoles. Shares are accordingly up about 1.4% in today's pre-market trading.

Green Dot (GDOT): GDOT gets upgraded to Outperform from Perform at JMP Securities.

LaSalle Hotel Properties (LHO): BMO Capital hoists the accommodation outfit to Outperform from Market Perform.

National Oilwell (NOV): NOV is now Buy from Neutral at Guggenheim.

Peabody Energy (BTU): The coal company is increased to Outperform from Market Perform at Raymond James.

RF Micro Devices (RFMD): Oppenheimer raises RFMD to Outperform from Perform, establishing a price objective of $7 on a stock it says stands to benefit both from a more diversified product line and leverage to key clients including Samsung (PINK:SSNLF) and Apple Inc. (AAPL). Shares are currently surging some 5% ahead of the open as a result.

William Morrison Supermarkets (PINK:MRWSY): The British grocer is now Buy from Neutral at Citigroup.

Worthington Industries (WOR): Macquarie moves the equity to Outperform from Neutral.

(See also: New Stock Coverage: Sibanye Gold Set to Glitter and Stock Downgrades: Apollo Investment an Appalling Investment?)
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