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Stock Upgrades: Fight Europe's Capital Flight With Ryanair


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

Wall Street now knows something of the psychological hell endured by that poor fellow who had to hear endless repetitions of "It's A Small World After All." The stock market's tour of woe took in first Cyprus, then Italy, before ultimately ending up Down and Out in Paris and London, with British and French gross domestic product both contracting 0.3%.

Some equities did buck a bad tape. Red Lion Hotels (RLH) rose 2.93%, though the baby sea lion who loafed around in a hotel chair was even cuter. Facebook (FB), up 3.51%, was "friended" and analyst Budd Bugatch made the acquaintance of Mattress Firm Holding (MFRM), his bullish research recommendation sending it surging some 12.09%.

As for the Nabors (NBR), they were pretty profitable too, gaining 2.34%. Note to North Korea: better start making nice with your southern border.

This is the last day of the first quarter on Wall Street, with the US bond market set for an early 2:00 p.m. Eastern close ahead of the Good Friday holiday, when there will be no trading in equities.

This morning's economic data includes the Chicago Purchasing Managers Index for March, due out at 9:45 a.m. In earnings activity, Accenture (ACN), BlackBerry (BBRY), GameStop (GME), Mosaic (MOS), Signet Jewelers (SIG), and Winnebago Industries (WGO) are all expected to report results.

Advantage Oil and Gas (AAV): TD Securities takes the energy outfit to Buy from Hold.

Eagle Materials (EXP): Sterne Agee moves the cement related stock to Buy from Neutral.

Intercontinental Hotels Group (IHG): The accommodation name gets a Buy-from-Hold hoist at Investec.

Ryanair Holdings (PINK:RYAAY): The budget airline based in Ireland and headed by a constantly controversial CEO gets a Buy-from-Neutral boost at Citigroup. Even amid the continent's economic crisis, its stock has risen 14.95% in the past 12 months, and the equity is advancing further before this morning's opening bell as a result of the upbeat analyst action.

(See also: New Stock Coverage: Everything's Rosy at Madison Square Garden and Stock Downgrades: Subsea 7 Is Seriously Under Water.)

Disclosure: Minyanville Studios, a division of Minyanville Media, has a business relationship with BlackBerry.
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