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Stock Upgrades: Groupon Is Your Deal of the Day

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

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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.)
No positions in stocks mentioned.
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