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Stock Upgrades: From Football to Futbol, Electronic Arts Makes Money Hand Over Fist

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

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Shares in Electronic Arts (NASDAQ:EA) are surging some 16.76% before the bell after the owner of both gridiron game Madden NFL and EA Sports FIFA -- which celebrates the other form of futbol -- beat Street estimates and also increased its forward earnings guidance. Archrival Activision Blizzard (NASDAQ:ATVI) is seeing strength this morning as well.
 
After anemic vacation volume on Monday, what with Cinco de Mayo in North America, a British bank holiday, and Asia off for the start of Golden Week, Wall Street regretted getting back to work on Tuesday -- not least the head of American International Group (NYSE:AIG), who has always been a little too fond of vacations and just saw his stock slump 4.14% on a dire day for Dow Industrials (INDEXDJX:.DJI). Blue chips had hitherto done an excellent job of shrugging off 0.1% economic "growth" here at home, armed conflict in the heart of Europe, and an ominous slowdown in China, but the holiday from history looks like it's at an end at long last. Some shares did buck a bad tape. Berkshire Hathaway's (NYSE:BRK.B) Warren Buffett summed up his legendarily low opinion of airlines by saying, "If a capitalist had been present at Kitty Hawk back in the early 1900s, he should have shot Orville Wright," but what does he know? Amid all the red ink, Delta (NYSE:DAL) was up where the air is rare and rose to an historic high. This, as the airline responsible for Flight 370 has somehow managed to make money on that tragedy. Elsewhere, on the fourth anniversary of the flash crashTwitter's (NYSE:TWTR) bluebird did a swan dive and slid 17.81%. Talk about a Turkey; maybe it's the company insiders who ought to be locked up.
 
Today in economics, March consumer credit is expected to contract from February's pace at 3:00 p.m. EDT. On the corporate front, earnings season is in its final innings, but an A-Z of quarterly announcements includes Allergan (NYSE:AGN), Keurig Green Mountain (NASDAQ:GMCR), Sotheby's (NYSE:BID), and Zillow (NASDAQ:Z).
 
Now let's analyze this morning's upgrades, a group that encompasses not only our aforementioned Electronic Arts, but also a fast food firm and accommodation outfit.

Advanced Energy (NASDAQ:AEIS): Raymond James raises its recommendation to Strong Buy from Outperform.
 
Cellular Dynamics (NASDAQ:ICEL): Shares get lifted to Outperform from Perform at Leerink Partners.
 
Chipotle Mexican Grill (NYSE:CMG): A second upgrade of the week for the fast food firm, now Buy from Neutral at Longbow.
 
Eagle Bancorp (NASDAQ:EGBN): Keefe Bruyette gives EGBN an Outperform-from-Market Perform increase.
 
Electronic Arts: Today's headline stock gets taken to Outperform from Neutral at Robert W. Baird.
 
FirstEnergy (NYSE:FE): Jefferies juices its rating to Buy from Hold. Its price objective, previously $31, increases by $6.
 
Forest Oil (NYSE:FST): Morgan Stanley moves the stock, which gained 13.41% yesterday, to Equal-Weight from Underweight.
 
Hecla Mining (NYSE:HL): The commodity company is hoisted to Buy from Neutral at Roth Capital.
 
Hilton Hotels (NYSE:HLT): The accommodation name is now Overweight from Equal-Weight at Morgan Stanley.
 
Infinity Pharmaceutical (NASDAQ:INFI): Jefferies increases its investment assessment to Buy from Hold.
 
J.C. Penney (NYSE:JCP): UBS raises the retailer to Neutral from Sell at UBS. Its target price is also taken up considerably, to $9 from $4.
 
Legacy Reserves (NASDAQ:LGCY): The limited partnership is lifted to Outperform from Neutral at Robert W. Baird, which believes its alliance with WPX Energy (NYSE:WPX) has promise.
 
Office Depot (NYSE:ODP): Shares, which surged an NYSE-best 15.83% on Tuesday, get taken to Outperform from Neutral at Credit Suisse.
 
TripAdvisor (NASDAQ:TRIP): Cantor Fitzgerald boosts the online travel titan to Buy from Hold and also increases its price target by $2, to $94.
 
Whole Foods Market (NASDAQ:WFM): Shares, slumping 17%-plus before the bell, are actually increased to Buy from Hold at an extremely out-of-consensus Argus.

Also see:

New Stock Coverage: CBS Outdoor Americas Bills the Bored

Stock Downgrades: Whole Foods Has Absolutely No One Arguing on Its Behalf
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No positions in stocks mentioned.
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