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Stock Upgrades: Goldman's a Gold Mine


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

MINYANVILLE ORIGINAL The ties that bind President Obama and House Speaker John Boehner, although not immediately apparent from this photo, were enough to send stocks up by the most in a month as the two leaders met for 45 minutes at the White House. Among stocks hitting all time highs were General Mills (GIS), which makes the Swedish-sounding but Bronx-born Häagen-Dazs, and Nicholas Financial (NICK), which should please St. Nick as he starts checking off who has been naughty and nice from the North Pole.

Reindeers were rushing into Caribou Coffee (CBOU), the stock gaining 30.68% after being bought by an investment outfit in Germany, inventors of the modern Christmas. Leaving milk and cookies out on December 24 should prove more profitable after dairy producer Dean Foods (DF) advanced 1.03% on an upbeat analyst initiation. And should Santa prefer something stronger, he'll be happy to see Polish vodka purveyor Central European Distribution (CEDC) surge 11.56%.

Today's earnings announcements are expected to include Apogee Enterprises (APOG), FactSet Research (FDS), Heico (HEI), Jefferies Group (JEF), Learning Tree (LTRE), Oracle (ORCL), and Sanderson Farms (SAFM). International (CTRP): Macquarie moves the Chinese Internet outfit to Outperform from Neutral with a $25 target. The broker believes revenues and earnings have both bottomed, and that the country's online travel sector is poised to enjoy impressive secular growth in upcoming years.

Duke Energy (DUK): Shares are upgraded to Buy from Hold at Deutsche Bank.

Goldman Sachs (NYSE:GS): GS gets upgraded to Positive from Neutral at Susquehanna, which also takes its target up to $149 from $127. Catalysts fixed income benefits from potential rising rates following any fiscal cliff resolution.

Horizon Technology (HRZN): Shares are upgraded to Outperform from Market Perform at Wells Fargo.

Spreadtrum Communications (SPRD): Bank of America-Merrill Lynch lists the stock to Neutral from Underperform.

(See also: New Stock Coverage: Sirius Radio Dials Up Dollars and Stock Downgrades: Life's Not Good for LG Display.)
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