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Stock Upgrades: Monet or Manet? It's All Money for Sothebys

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

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The Sports Illustrated cover curse obviously didn't apply to the Pirates this year. Over at Time magazine, however, investors should clearly be more concerned. Fresh from the bull being put on its front page last week, the Dow dropped for a third straight day. Among stocks on the move, Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) advanced 4.97% to top the S&P 500 Index (INDEXSP:.INX) as customers went gaga for its new fingerprint scanner. Angela Merkel's former friend recently found his middle finger otherwise engaged, alas, but her newly-reelected German government gave a big thumbs up to fellow Teuton Thorsten Heins at BlackBerry Ltd (NASDAQ:BBRY), which arrested a recent slide after an acquisition offer.

Today in economics, analysts expect The Conference Board's September consumer sentiment survey to pull back from its August pace at 10:00 a.m. Eastern. On the quarterly earnings front, CarMax (NYSE:KMX), Carnival Corporation (NYSE:CCL), KB Home (NYSE:KBH), and Lennar (NYSE:LEN) are all due to release results.

Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL): Shares are upgraded to Positive from Neutral at Susquehanna after stellar early sales for the iPhone 5S and 5C.

BlackBerry (NASDAQ:BBRY): The stock is hoisted to Hold from Sell at Canaccord Genuity and to Neutral from Underperform by BNP Paribas.

CIT Group (NYSE:CIT): Jefferies juices its fellow financial firm to Buy from Hold.

Diamondback Energy (NASDAQ:FANG): The stock is now Buy from Neutral at Sterne Agee.

Facebook (NASDAQ:FB): The recently-surging social media name is now Buy from Neutral at Citigroup. Its price objective, previously $32, is now $55 and shares are up before the opening bell as a result.

Herman Miller (NASDAQ:MLHR): The office furniture maker is moved to Buy from Hold at BB&T Capital.

Hologic (HOLX): Shares get upgraded to Strong Buy from Buy at ISI Group.

Lloyds Banking Group (NYSE:LYG): The British bank gets lifted to Hold from Sell by Investec Securities.

Microchip (NASDAQ:MCHP): Goldman Sachs moves the specialized semiconductor stock to Buy from Neutral.

Safeway (NYSE:SWY): The supermarket stock is now Equal-Weight from Underweight at Barclays.

Sothebys (NYSE:BID): The auction house, seller of multimillion-dollar offerings by iconic artists including Claude Monet and Édouard Manet, is increased to Buy from Neutral at Citigroup.

Total SA (NYSE:TOT): Shares are up in Europe after being taken to Equal Weight from Underweight by Barclays, which says it "can control capex more than we had previously anticipated."

(See also: Stock Downgrades: Red Hat Reduced to Going Cap in Hand and New Stock Coverage: Who Needs Tesla When There's Tata?)

Disclosure: Minyanville Studios, a division of Minyanville Media, has a business relationship with BlackBerry.
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No positions in stocks mentioned.
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