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Stock Upgrades: Lam Research Corporation Has Bears on the Run


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

The bull exited China's shop in a big way, with Shanghai officially entering a bear market to unleash pandemonium on equities worldwide. Furrowed brows were the order of the day from Beijing to Wall Street, and that was even before disowned Botox maker Allergan (AGN) imploded 11.55% to lead the S&P 500 (^GSPC) lower.

On the bright side, Oracle (ORCL), whose private investigators used to quite literally regard Microsoft (MSFT) as trash, ended up after a strange-bedfellows cloud-computing agreement with its erstwhile rival.

Today in economics, May new home sales and June consumer confidence are each out at 10:00 a.m. Eastern. On the corporate front, Apollo Group (APOL), Barnes & Noble (BKS), Carnival Corporation (CCL), Lennar (LEN), Smith & Wesson (SWHC), and Walgreen (WAG) are all due to announce earnings.

ARM Holdings plc (ARMH): Shares are showing strength in London this morning after Investec gave the chip stock and Apple Inc. (AAPL) supplier a Buy-from-Hold boost.

Alamos Gold Inc (AGI): Citing an attractive valuation and upcoming Turkish assets, Cowen raises its rating to Outperform from Market Perform.

CME Group Inc (CME): The exchange operator is upgraded to Neutral from Buy at JPMorgan.

Hittite Microwave Corp (HITT): Goldman Sachs gives the stock a Neutral-from-Sell upgrade.

HSBC Holdings plc (HBC): Highlighting its "strong balance sheet [and] strong dividend yield buttressed by plans for buybacks in 2014 and beyond," Deutsche Bank hoists its fellow financial firm to Buy from Hold.

Kinder Morgan Energy Partners LP (KMP): Bank of America-Merrill Lynch lifts the limited partnership to Buy from Neutral.

Lam Research Corporation (LRCX): LRCX is lifted to Outperform from Underperform at Crédit Agricole. Its price objective, previously $50, increases to $55.

Las Vegas Sands Corp. (LVS): The casino company is now Buy from Hold at Craig Hallum, sending it up before the bell.

Royal Dutch Shell Plc (RDS-A): BNP Paribas boosts the oil giant to Neutral from Sell.

Vodafone Group Plc (VOD): The British telecom stock is now Buy from Neutral at Nomura, sending it up in today's European trading.

Waters Corporation (WAT): Goldman gives the firm a boost to Buy from Neutral.

(See also: New Stock Coverage: Nike, Inc. Just Keeps on Doing It and Stock Downgrades: Netflix, Inc. Now Swimming Upstream.)
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