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Stock Upgrades: Oil's Well With ConocoPhillips

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

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With the Dow (^DJI) having gained for 20 straight Tuesdays, investors may have been tempted to prematurely phone it in. (Especially on a day AT&T Inc. (T) jumped 1.71% to pace a torrid telecom tape.) But as the celebrated author of Tuesdays With Morrie once learned to his considerable cost, filing a story ahead of time can result in acute embarrassment for an author.

Thus it was that, just as the day had started to appear infallible, the glorious run of Tuesdays With Mr. Market came to an abrupt end. Energy stocks posted the poorest performance, in tandem with Wall Street finally running out of that precious commodity. But energy drink maker Monster Beverage (MNST) had no such problems, jumping 10.45% to top the entire S&P 500 Index (^GSPC). Pandora Media (P) turned an ever deeper shade of crimson, falling 5.45%, after its CFO's attempts to brush off Apple (AAPL) competition were seen as, well, a red Herring.

Scotts Miracle-Gro (SMG), whose head prefers to turn the air blue, had further reason to curse his luck after that stock dropped 1.36%. A new study showed vegetarians live longer than meat-eaters, but USA Today owner Gannett (GCI) - fresh from putting a cattle on its front cover - likely thinks that is bull. Shares rose 1.28% in extended trading after an analyst unleashed its animal spirits.

Today in economics, April factory orders and the Institute for Supply Management's May services index are each out at 10:00 Eastern. At 2:00 p.m. the Federal Reserve releases its June beige book, detailing regional financial conditions in a dozen districts.

On the corporate front, expect quarterly earnings announcements from Ascena Retail (ASNA), Brown-Forman (BF-B), Coldwater Creek (CWTR), Francesca's Holdings (FRAN), FuelCell Energy(FCEL), Harvest Natural (HNR), Hovnanian Enterprises (HOV), Jos. A Bank Clothiers (JOSB), Layne Christensen (LAYN), and VeriFone (PAY).

Apache (APA): The energy name is now Buy from Hold hoist at Deutsche Bank.

Auxilium Pharmaceuticals (AUXL): Leerink Swann lifts the stock to Outperform from Market Perform.

Baker Hughes (BHI): Jefferies juices the oil services outfit to Buy from Hold.

Bed Bath & Beyond (BBBY): The retailer is raised to Buy from Neutral at Nomura.

Citrix Systems (CTXS): Goldman Sachs gives the stock a boost to Buy from Neutral.

ConocoPhillips (NYSE:COP): Barclays increases the oil giant to Overweight from Equal Weight.

Forest Labs (FRX): The stock is lifted to Buy from Hold with a $46 objective at Argus, which anticipates revenue growth of roughly 8% for the firm's principal product Namenda.

Joe's Jeans (JOEZ): Shares are now Buy from Neutral at B. Riley & Co, which says sales comparisons are poised to become progressively easier.

Kayne Anderson Energy (KED): KED is now Neutral from Underperform at Bank of America-Merrill Lynch.

Salesforce.com (CRM): Shares get upgraded to Conviction Buy from Buy at Goldman, sending them 2.86% higher as I write.

Timken (TKR): TKR is taken to Buy from Hold at Jefferies.

(See also: New Stock Coverage: Jump Into Jive Software and Stock Downgrades: Callaway Golf, All Green of Late, Heading for Rough Day.)
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No positions in stocks mentioned.
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