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Stock Upgrades: France Likes What It Sees in Lululemon


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

Yesterday felt like 1998 all over again, and not just on account of French unemployment reaching a 15-year high. That year Bill Clinton, aka the "comeback kid," somehow survived the Lewinsky scandal and yesterday Mr. Market showed similar resilience. The Dow (^DJI), down 116 points at the day's depths, ended up an impressive 80.03 in its best rebound of the year.

June 6 was of course the 69th anniversary of D-Day, when the "Boys of Pointe du Hoc" scaled the cliffs and liberated first Normandy and then the continent of Europe. The grandchildren of liberation, alas, had less reason to laud Americans yesterday, after Big Apple based NYSE Euronext (NYX) blamed that old standby technical troubles for a trading glitch that postponed Paris trading by an hour.

Ahead of an equine weekend, there were long faces at J.M. Smucker (SJM), whose first product was sold from the back of a horse-drawn wagon. Shares nose-dived an S&P 500 (^GSPC) worst 9.81%. But Regeneron (REGN), based in the headless horseman heartland of Tarrytown, was off to the races, gaining 9.81% to post the index's best performance. This as glue maker Henkel (OTCMKTS:HENOY), for whom far too many proud stallions have given their life, gained 2.17% on an analyst upgrade.

Today in economics, analysts expect an expansion in April consumer credit at 3:00 p.m. Eastern. On the earnings front, look for results from Daqo New Energy (DQ) and Mobile TeleSystems (MBT).

Abercrombie & Fitch (ANF): Bank of America-Merrill Lynch lifts the clothing company to Buy from Neutral.

Bayer (OTCMKTS:BAYRY): The aspirin outfit is increased to Outperform from Neutral by BNP Paribas.

Broadcom (BRCM): Shares are moved to Outperform from Neutral at Macquarie.

Brocade (BRCD): The tech equity gets taken to Buy from Neutral with a $7.50 price objective at ISI Group, which says a dividend initiation is potentially on the agenda.

Brookfield Infrastructure (BIP): BIP is boosted to Buy from Hold at TD Securities.

BT Group (BT): Shares of the British telecom titan are surging 4.61% in London today on the back of an Overweight-from-Equal Weight boost by Barclays, which hails its ongoing cost cutting efforts.

Deutsche Telekom (OTCMKTS:DTEGY): Jefferies increases its investment opinion to Buy from Hold.

Dun & Bradstreet (DNB): JPMorgan moves the stock to Neutral from Underweight.

GlaxoSmithKline (GSK): The pharmaceutical giant gets hoisted to Hold from Underweight at Liberum.

Glencore Xstrata (OTCMKTS:GLCNF): The commodity company, currently led by disgraced ex-BP Plc (BP) CEO Tony Hayward, is trading 2.53% higher in Europe this morning after getting added to the Focus List at Credit Suisse.

Coca-Cola FEMSA (KOF): The Mexican bottler is now Neutral from Sell at Citigroup.

Lululemon Athletica (NASDAQ:LULU): Talk about "I see France." Pride-of-Paris Crédit Agricole gives an Underperform-from-Sell upgrade to the cult yoga clothing company, which has survived a recent sheer-pants problem to trade at historic highs.

Main Street Capital (MAIN): Raymond James juices its recommendation to Outperform from Market Perform.

United Continental (UAL): Goldman Sachs gives the airline a Neutral-from-Sell lift as merger doldrums begin to dissipate

Vale S.A. (VALE): The miner is moved to Outperform from Underperform by Sanford Bernstein.

Vera Bradley (VRA): The handbag maker, which slumped 7.84% yesterday amid downgrades and iffy earnings, gets upgraded to Neutral from Underperform at Sterne Agee.

YUM Brands (YUM): The owner of KFC, Pizza Hut, and - infamous this week - Taco Bell is boosted to Buy from Neutral at UBS. Sales in China are expected to pick up, and the bank also adds YUM to its US "Key Call" list. Shares are currently up about 1% as a result.

(See also: New Stock Coverage: Garmin Suddenly Finds Itself Back In Favor and Stock Downgrades: Calgon About To Take a Bath?)
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