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Stock Upgrades: Priceline.com Inc Is Going Places

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

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It is not just sunny Spain where the bulls are currently running amok. Animal spirits have been unleashed again on Wall Street, where the S&P 500 (^GSPC) rose 1.59% in four holiday-curtailed trading sessions to advance for a second straight week. Steinway Musical Instruments (LVB), whose ticker symbol pays homage to a deaf composer of incomparable genius, heard money talk loud and clear, jumping 18.57%. Meanwhile Groupon (GRPN), whose piano-laying former CEO was recently forced to face the music, gained 6.7%.

Twenty-four carat gold eyelashes hit store shelves, but Mr. Market was in no mood to flutter his at unloved bullion behemoth Barrick (ABX), which dropped 13% to a 13-year low. Adding insult to injury in a miserable metals sector, beloved tin badges are out at the Met Museum and box office bomb "Hi Ho, Silver!" went down like a lead balloon.

Today in economics, May consumer credit is forecast to expand at 3:00 p.m. Eastern. On the earnings front, Alcoa (AA) unofficially ushers in Q2 reporting season when it releases results after the close. Expect announcements also out of Bank of the Ozarks (OZRK), CrowdGather (CRWG), Mercury Systems (MRCY), Synergy Resources (SYRG), and WD-40 (WDFC).

AGCO Corporation (AGCO): Piper Jaffray juices its recommendation to Overweight from Neutral.

China Unicom (Hong Kong) Limited (CHU): Shares are now Neutral from Underweight at HSBC Securities.

Fiserv, Inc. (FISV): Barclays boosts the stock to Overweight from Equal Weight.

Linn Energy LLC (LINE): LINE is lifted to Buy from Neutral at Bank of America-Merrill Lynch.

Oshkosh Corporation (OSK): The equity is taken to Outperform from Market Perform by Barrington.

PetroChina Company Limited (PTR): PTR, previously rated Perform, is increased to Outperform by Sanford Bernstein.

Priceline.com Inc (PCLN): The online travel stock is moved to Overweight from Equal-Weight at Morgan Stanley, sending it up almost 2% in today's pre-market trading.

TD Ameritrade Holding Corp. (AMTD): Citigroup boosts the discount broker to Buy from Hold.

(See also: Stock Downgrades: Unpleasant Surprise Inside for Intel Corporation and New Stock Coverage: Super Mario's Heirs Have Left Nintendo Co., Ltd in Good Hands.)
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No positions in stocks mentioned.
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