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Stock Upgrades: Las Vegas Sands Corp. Is in Luck

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

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Europe and the United States are currently at loggerheads but the four-day workweek, that quintessential continental invention, got off to a profitable start in America. The Dow (^DJI) and S&P 500 (^GSPC) are entitled to take Independence Day off after having now risen in four of the past five sessions. Citizens of the City by the Bay were grounded by a transit strike, but San Francisco's Onyx Pharmaceuticals (ONXX) was its own money train with a 51.27% surge.

Seinfeld's Junior Mints are in good hands with parent company Tootsie Roll (TR) rising 4.15% to a fresh peak. Cyberspace was all atwitter with women's scowls, yet "Old Gray Lady" the New York Times (NYT) - up 5.79% to a new best - was all smiles, and a New Girl similarly made Netflix (NFLX) - a 6.25% gainer - very happy.

Today in economics, factory orders for May are out at 10:00 a.m. Eastern. On the earnings front, expect announcements from Acuity Brands (AYI), Constellation Brands (STZ), Greenbrier Companies (GBX), and Zep, Inc. (ZEP).

BURBERRY GROUP PLC (BURBY): The upscale English fashion firm is trading sharply higher in London today on the back of an Overweight-from-Neutral increase at HSBC Securities.

Eastern Virginia Bankshares, Inc. (EVBS): Shares are boosted to Outperform from Market Perform by Keefe Bruyette.

JPMorgan Chase & Co. (JPM): Raymond James juices the company, a key Dow (^DJI) component, to Strong Buy from Outperform. The price target, previously $55, increases to $64 amid earnings power and the "London Whale" fallout receding.

Las Vegas Sands Corp. (LVS): The casino company gets lifted to Buy from Neutral at ISI Group.

MICHELIN CIE GEN DES (MGDDF): UBS takes the French tire firm to Buy from Neutral, sending it up about 2% in Paris this morning. Light-vehicle tires offer particular promise, the broker believes.

PetroChina Company Limited (ADR) (PTR): The stock gets upgraded to Overweight from Underweight at HSBC Securities.

Quiksilver, Inc. (ZQK): B. Riley raises the retailer to Buy from Neutral with a price objective of $9.25. Catalysts include an impressive new management team, including highly respected CEO Andy Mooney.

Rowan Companies PLC (RDC): The oil services outfit gets raised to Buy from Neutral at Citigroup.

Seagate Technology PLC (STX): STX is taken to Equal Weight from Underweight by Barclays.

(See also: Stock Downgrades: Writing Is on the Wall for A.T. Cross Company and New Stock Coverage: Ruckus Wireless Inc Gets Ready to Rumble.)
No positions in stocks mentioned.
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