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Stock Upgrades: FLIR Systems, Inc. Is About to Fly

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

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Wall Street was effortlessly earning another fast buck until Fleet Street intervened. A late report from London's Financial Times, indicating Fed tapering is imminent, curbed some of the market's gains. Still, shares still ended solidly higher on a day the only Czechs being bounced were in Prague.

Some equities did end down, with Frontier Communications (FTR) falling an S&P 500 (^GSPC) worst 3.32%. Patrick Stewart, as Star Trek's Captain Jean-Luc Picard, once took us to "the final frontier" of Outer Space, but these days, he is reduced to more mundane matters like fighting Time Warner Cable (TWC). As such, the English actor can find some solace in that unloved stock tumbling 2.54%.

And tonight the LA Dodgers visit the Bronx for the first time since 1981, an unimaginably distant age of 18.5% interest rates. That year MTV arrived on the scene as the sweet bird of youth; today it will try to prove it ain't an old buzzard.

This morning the Federal Open Market Committee starts its two-day policy meeting in Washington, DC. On the earnings front, Adobe Systems (ADBE), FactSet Research Systems (FDS), and La-Z-Boy (LZB) are all due to report results.

Daimler AG (USA) (DDAIF): The luxury German automaker is now Buy from Hold at Natixis.

FLIR Systems, Inc. (FLIR): Raymond James raises its recommendation to Strong Buy from Market Perform. Its price objective is $33, and shares are currently surging some 6%.

HSBC Holdings plc (ADR) (HBC): The giant financial firm is up about 1.64% this morning after getting hoisted to Buy from Neutral at Citigroup.

Lender Processing Services, Inc. (LPS): Ladenburg Thalmann lifts LPS substantially, to Outperform from Underperform.

Motorcar Parts of America, Inc. (MPAA): The stock is raised to Buy from Neutral at B. Riley, which increases its price objective to $10.25 from $8.00. Catalysts include stable margins and top-line growth.

Newfield Exploration Co. (NFX): Stifel increases its investment opinion to Buy from Hold with a $29 target. The broker sees upside potential to 2013 earnings guidance.

People's United Financial, Inc. (PBCT): Shares are now Overweight from Neutral at JPMorgan.

Royal Dutch Shell plc (RDS.A): The oil outfit is upgraded to Focus Stock from Sector Outperform at Howard Weil, which highlights its free cash flow and stock buybacks.

(See also: New Stock Coverage: LinkedIn Corp Still Doing a Great Job and Stock Downgrades: Charles River Laboratories Up a Creek.)
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No positions in stocks mentioned.
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