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Stock Upgrades: Sherwin-Williams Prepares to Paint Town Red, Tape Green


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

The National Geographic Channel is currently reminiscing about the '80s but last week it seemed like Maggie and Ron had never really left us, even as the former sadly did. (Ron being not the Gipper but rather Mr. Johnson, whose belated firing by Bill Ackman failed to stop JC Penney (JCP) falling a further 5.4% even as the S&P 500 (^GSPC) rose 2.2% to new highs.)

While the world mourned an Iron Lady, Active Network (ACTV) surged some 16% after inking a three-year deal with Ironman. Leonard Lauder - coiner of the "Lipstick Index" and Estée's (EL) son - saw his stock hit its highest level ever, and promptly gave away a billion bucks. (If only Apple Inc. (AAPL) would display similar largesse with its cash hoard.) This as lipstick was profitably put on a PIIG, with markets in Portugal gaining 5.1% and the benchmark index in Athens advancing 13%.

No top-tier economic data due today but the first full week of earnings season starts with a financial flair, as Charles Schwab (SCHW), Citigroup (C), First Republic Bank (FRC), and M&T Bank (MTB) are all expected to report results.

Anglo American (PINK:AAUKY): The mining giant, which also owns an 85% stake in South African diamond giant De Beers, is now Neutral from Underweight at JPMorgan.

Chipotle Mexican Grill (CMG): Shares are up ahead of the open after getting a Buy-from-Neutral boost at UBS and an Outperform-from-Neutral increase with Wedbush.

Dentsply (XRAY): Citigroup raises the maker of myriad products including topical fluoride and artificial teeth to Buy from Neutral.

Gold Fields (GFI): GFI gets a Neutral-from-Sell upgrade at Citi.

Greenbrier Companies (GBX): Longbow lifts the stock to Buy from Neutral.

JC Penney (JCP): The beleaguered retail name is now Buy from Neutral at Buckingham Research.

Patterson Companies (PDCO): The dental supply outfit gets upgraded to Cautious from Sell at ISI Group, which also takes its target price up by $3 to $35. A more compelling valuation, allied to its dividend yield, and stock buyback, are all cited as catalysts.

Sherwin-Williams (NYSE:SHW): The paint powerhouse, up 46.41% in the past year, gets upgraded by both Morgan Stanley (Overweight from Equal Weight) and Nomura (Buy from Neutral).

Under Armour (UA): Upgraded to Positive from Neutral at Susquehanna.

(See also: New Stock Coverage: Software Stocks Got You Down? Try Restoration Hardware and Stock Downgrades: It's Open Season on OpenTable.)
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