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Stock Upgrades: Groupon Is Your Deal of the Day


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

September has historically been the market's most punk month, but Henry Ford (NYSE:F) famously said, "History is bunk," and, with his stock surging 3.49% to post its best gain of 2013, who are we to argue? Car companies led equities higher, even as another road rage incident involving Nasdaq's (INDEXNASDAQ:.IXIC) "defensive driver" threatened to derail the rally. Among stocks on the move, Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) advanced 2.07% as an analyst established a $777 target on the tech titan. The same symmetrical sell side researcher started the year by cutting his prior $1,111 target to $888, although $666 would surely have been a much better reflection of the equity's devilish action over subsequent months.

A ratings reduction saw Dublin's own Ryanair (NASDAQ:RYAAY) implode 8.90%. If such a horror show is enough to drive shareholders to drink hometown hero Guinness, better hold that thought. Elsewhere John Thain, whose toilet tastes ran more to $35,000 commodes during the depths of the Great Recession, can rest easy. The Wall Street wrestler likely owns some stock in World Wrestling Entertainment (NYSE:WWE), which jumped 3.03% on a broker boost.

Today in economics, consensus calls for a falloff in factory orders for July and August's Institute for Supply Management non-manufacturing index, each out at 10:00 a.m. Eastern. On the quarterly earnings front, Conn's (NASDAQ:CONN), Finisar (NASDAQ:FNSR), Quiksilver (NYSE:ZQK), Smith & Wesson (NASDAQ:SWHC), and VeriFone (NYSE:PAY) are all expected to release results.

Banco Bilbao Vizcaya (NYSE:BBVA): The Bilbao-based bank is now Outperform from Neutral at Credit Suisse.

Endeavour Silver (NYSE:EXK): BMO Capital Markets moves the commodity company to Market Perform from Underperform.

Extra Space Storage (NYSE:EXR): Jefferies juices the industrial Real Estate Investment Trust to Buy from Hold.

Groupon Inc (NASDAQ:GRPN): The online daily deals outfit is showing strength in today's pre-market trading after getting upgraded to Overweight from Equal-Weight at Morgan Stanley.

HSN, Inc. (NASDAQ:HSNI): Citigroup hoists the owner of Home Shopping Network to Buy from Neutral.

InterContinental Hotels (NYSE:IHG): A UBS increase from Buy to Neutral is sending the stock up overseas this morning. The recent precipitous share price decline provides compelling value, in the bank's estimation.

Louisiana-Pacific (NYSE:LPX): The building materials stock is lifted by both DA Davidson (Buy from Neutral, with the target taken to $20 from $18) and Deutsche Bank (Buy from Hold.) An accretive acquisition of Ainsworth Lumber is seen as a catalyst, and shares are surging ahead of the opening bell.

Marks & Spencer (OTCMKTS:MAKSY): The iconic British retailer is rising in London trading today after being boosted to Overweight from Neutral by HSBC Securities.

Omnicom Group (NYSE:OMC): Lazard upgrades the advertising giant to Buy from Neutral.

RRSat Global Communications (NASDAQ:RRST): Shares are raised to Outperform from Perform with a $10 price objective at Oppenheimer, which cites this week's acquisition of European content management among its favorable factors.

Sherwin-Williams (NYSE:SHW): The paint and coatings company is lifted to Buy from Neutral at Longbow.

Timmins Gold (NYSEMKT:TGD): BMO Capital takes the small cap company to Outperform from Market Perform.

Transocean (NYSE:RIG): Credit Suisse takes the oil services outfit to Outperform from Neutral.

Universal Forest (NASDAQ:UFPI): Shares are now Buy from Neutral at DA Davidson, which notes that its exposure to residential construction is under 20% of total revenues.

Vivendi (OTCMKTS:VIVEF): The French firm gets hoisted to Overweight from Equal-Weight at Morgan Stanley.

(See also: Stock Downgrades: Tears at Comedy Central Owner Viacom and New Stock Coverage: Starbucks Easily Worth Eighty Bucks.)
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