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Stock Upgrades: LinkedIn Corp Parties Like It's 1999

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

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Stocks posted an Absolutely Fabulous performance, if Mr. Tourre will forgive me for quoting the name of a 1990s TV show to describe the action in equities. Indeed that irrationally exuberant era made a comeback yesterday, with the Dow (^DJI) ending at another record. The Gap Inc. (GPS), whose khakis clad the decade, surged on a broker boost. Back then anything with a "dot-com" or "Web" in its name was a license to make money, and judging by the 9.46% and 5.50% surges in Stamps.com (STMP) and Web.com (WWWW), not much has changed. Elsewhere, a resurgent Facebook (FB) found a "friend" with its 1.87% advance and the BUD's of Belgium's Anheuser-Busch (BUD) were even more pleased to make the market's acquaintance, taking its two-day advance to 9%. Clearly, even in a week that Brussels' Smurfs continue to be beloved worldwide and shunned in the States, the two countries can continue to cooperate on some things.

Today's economic data includes factory orders for June, which are expected to tick up at 10:00 a.m. Eastern. The final full week of Q2 earnings releases ends with Allianz (AZSEY), Axa Group (AXAHY), Berkshire Hathaway (BRK.B), Cablevision (CVC), CBOE Holdings (CBOE), Chevron (CVX), Furmanite (FRM), Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS), Toyota Motor (TM), and Viacom (VIAB) all slated to report results.

Air France-KLM (AFLYY): The aviation name gets a Buy-from-Neutral boost at Citigroup.

AstraZeneca (AZN): Swedbank raises the pharmaceutical firm to Reduce from Sell.

Automatic Data Processing (ADP): Shares are now Neutral from Positive at Susquehanna.

Barrick Gold (ABX): BMO Capital gives the commodity company an upgrade to Market Perform from Underperform.

Cubic Corporation (CUB): Benchmark boosts the company to Buy from Hold, in the process taking its price target up by $14 to $60. An improvement in its backlog with the Department of Defense is among the catalysts.

Ferro Corporation (FOE): Deutsche Bank hoists the equity to Buy from Hold.

FleetCor (FLT): The stock is upgraded to Overweight from Equal Weight by Barclays.

Glencore International (GLNCY): Shares get upgraded to Neutral from Reduce at Nomura.

Groupon (GRPN): Evercore upgrades the daily deals website to Equal Weight from Underweight.

Honda Motor (HMC): The Japanese auto giant gets upgraded to Outperform from Neutral at Credit Suisse.

ITT Industries (ITT): Citing improving investor sentiment for industrials overall, allied to a better backdrop in Europe, FBR Capital increases its investment opinion to Perform from Underperform. Its price objective is $32.

LinkedIn Corp (LNKD): Echoes of the 1999 Internet bubble? Shares, already up 122.71% in the past year, are surging further into record territory this morning. The stock gets upgraded to Buy from Hold at Cantor Fitzgerald, which also takes its target up to $250 from $170. Its analyst wrote in a note that LNKD's "long-term outlook keeps getting better with every passing quarter."

Lloyds Banking (LYG): Barclays boosts its fellow British bank to Overweight from Equal Weight. Share have been surging of late amid an earnings improvement and hope that the company may soon reinstate dividends for the first time since the 2008 financial crisis.

Mohawk Industries (MHK): MHK is moved to Outperform from Market Perform at Raymond James.

Mylan Labs (MYL): Morgan Stanley increases the equity to Overweight from Equal-Weight.

Pacific Biosciences (JACB): Piper Jaffray juices the stock to Overweight from Neutral.

Société Générale (SCGLY): Deutsche Bank hoists its fellow financial firm to Buy from Hold.

Time Warner Cable (TWC): TWC gets taken to Outperform from Market Perform at Raymond James.

(See also: Stock Downgrades: United Stationers Inc. Not Worth the Paper It's Written On? and New Stock Coverage: Electronic Arts Inc. Is Pretty as a Picture.)
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No positions in stocks mentioned.
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