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Stock Upgrades: HSBC Makes Clean Break After Money Laundering


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

MINYANVILLE ORIGINAL The Fed head failed to move markets much yesterday, so let's hope birthday boy Ben Bernanke helps us party like a rock star today. (Or rather Rockstar, assuming he owns stock in Take-Two Interactive (TTWO), which makes the game and gained 2.58% on an analyst upgrade.)

The Dow (^DJI) snapped a five-day winning streak but money talked at Dolby Labs (DLB), with investors liking what they heard after the surround sound king jumped 2.37%. Alas no one was Listening To Prozac after Eli Lilly (LLY), which produces the depression drug, dropped 3.16%.

Today's quarterly earnings announcements are expected to include Adobe (ADBE), Ciena (CIEN), Hovnanian (HOV), Pier 1 Imports (PIR), Quiksilver (ZQK), and Verifone (PAY).

Avago Technologies (AVGO): Shares are upgraded to Buy from Neutral at Goldman.

B&G Foods (BGS): The stock is taken to Outperform from Sector Perform at RBC Capital.

Charles River (CRL): CRL is upgraded to Outperform from Market Perform at Wells Fargo.

Dresser-Rand (DRC): Shares are now Positive from Neutral at Susquehanna.

Eli Lilly (LLY): LLY, a poor performer yesterday, is this morning lifted to Neutral from Underperform at Cowen, which has increased confidence in solanezumab development.

HSBC Holdings (NYSE:HBC) The company, which on Tuesday paid a record $1.92 billion to settle a money-laundering probe, is upgraded to Buy from Hold at Deutsche Bank.

Microchip (MCHP): MCHP is moved to Neutral from Sell at Goldman.

RF Micro Devices (RFMD): Shares are raised to Overweight from Equal-Weight at Barclays.

Tesoro (TSO): TSO is taken to Outperform from Neutral at Credit Suisse.

Vera Bradley (VRA): Shares are upgraded to Buy from Hold at Jefferies.

Yum Brands (YUM): The stock is upgraded to Buy from Neutral at Goldman ahead of a potential turnaround in China. The target is $77.

(See also: Stock Downgrades: Olive Garden Owner Darden Restaurants Evicted From Eden and New Stock Coverage: Green Mountain Coffee Not Worth Hill of Beans?)

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