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Stock Upgrades: Has Worm Finally Turned on Apple?


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

The Mercedes that crashed into Tiffany's (TIF) flagship store on Sunday was an almost-too-perfect coda for a week when Wall Street's previously effortlessly easy gravy train went off the rails. S&P 500 (^GSPC) shares tumbled 2.11% in enduring their worst showing since November.

In a miserable market grocery giant Fairway (FWM) surged 33.46% on its first day of trading. Founded as a modest fruit and veg stand in 1933, the single worst year of the Great Depression, it now hosts New York foodies who gather for gourmet arugula and duck pâté.

Apple Inc. (AAPL), lambasted for having a "depression era mentality" imploded another 9.1% in falling to a new low on Friday. (Good thing an eagerly awaited Steve Jobs biopic was sensibly delayed from its original release on that day, for even with today's upgrade a Hollywood ending appears increasingly unlikely for the stock.)

Brother, can you spare a dime? was top of the pops back in the Depression. Brother can now apparently spare considerably more than that, at least if you are Eastman Kodak (PINK:EKDKQ).

This morning in economics, March existing home sales are expected to increase from the prior month's pace at 10:00 a.m. Eastern. Peak earnings week is upon us, with today's key results due to include Caterpillar (CAT), Halliburton (HAL), Hasbro (HAS), Netflix (NFLX), Texas Instruments (TXN), and Zions Bancorp (ZION).

AbbVie (ABBV): Morgan Stanley moves the biopharmaceutical stock to Overweight from Equal-Weight.

Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL): The troubled stock is upgraded to Outperform from Market Perform at Avondale.

Beazer Homes USA (BZH): Credit Suisse raises the real estate outfit to Outperform from Neutral.

BHP Billiton (BHP): Shares are upgraded to Overweight from Neutral at HSBC Securities.

Circor (CIR): The stock is moved to Buy from Hold at BB&T Capital Markets.

Equinix (EQIX): Stephens increases the Internet software stock to Overweight from Equal Weight.

European Aeronautic Defence & Space Company (PINK: EADSY): RBC Capital raises its recommendation to Outperform from Sector Perform.

Hess Corporation (HES): The stock is increased to Overweight from Equal Weight by Barclays.

Johnson Controls (JCI): Robert W. Baird juices JCI to Outperform from Neutral.

Meadowbrook Insurance Group (MIG): MIG gets upgraded to Outperform from Market Perform at Keefe Bruyette.

Natixis (PINK:NTXFY): The French investment bank is up 4.10% in today's European trading after being taken to Outperform from Neutral at Credit Suisse.

Perrigo (PRGO): The drug developer gets moved to Overweight from Neutral at JPMorgan.

Skechers USA (SKX): BB&T Capital gives the footwear firm a Buy-from-Hold boost.

VF Corporation (VFC): The textile company, whose brands include JanSport backpacks and North Face jackets, is taken to Outperform from Neutral with Wedbush.

(See also: New Stock Coverage: Planet Payment Is Out of This World and Stock Downgrades: Lights Go Out on General Electric.)
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