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Stock Upgrades: Tesla Motors Inc Hits Top Gear


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

In a week dominated by Britain's royal birth, Wall Street opted to take the advice of another English blue blood as investors "hugged a hoodie." Granted, Mr. Zuckerberg - who made $3.8 billion yesterday - may not be in the garb's typical demographic. But no matter, for Facebook's (FB) impressive earnings and subsequent adulation sent it surging 29.61% and had shareholders everywhere welcoming it back to the neighborhood with open arms. The company's results helped "cement the bull thesis," according to Sterne Agee analyst Arvind Bhatia. Mexican cement giant Cemex (CX), up 2.20% after its own quarterly announcement, clearly felt the halo effect. Meanwhile Halliburton (HAL), which did cement work on an infamous BP Inc. (BP) oil well, found itself in hot water. This as the Gulf is once again aflame, although mercifully this time no sheen was seen. Michael or otherwise.

Today in economics, the University of Michigan's final figure for July consumer confidence arrives at 9:55 a.m. Eastern. On the earnings front, peak week of Q2 reporting season concludes with quarterly announcements expected out of Aon plc (AON), British Sky Broadcasting (BSYBY), Kia Motors (KIMTF), Lear Corporation (LEA), LyondellBasell (LYB), Newell Rubbermaid (NWL), Samsung Electronics (SSNLF), Stanley Black & Decker (SWK), Tyco International (TYC), and Wipro (WIT).

Advance Auto Parts (AAP): Shares get upgraded to Buy from Hold at Deutsche Bank. (BIDU): Morgan Stanley moves the Chinese search engine to Overweight from Equal-Weight.

BankUnited (BKU): Keefe Bruyette boosts the bank to Outperform from Market Perform.

Campbell Soup (CPB): Shares are upgraded to Neutral from Underperform at Credit Suisse.

Flagstar Bancorp (FBC): The stock is now Neutral from Sell at Compass Point, which also increases its price objective by $2.50 to $14.50. Increasing home prices augur well, the broker believes.

Gilead Sciences (GILD): GILD gets upgraded to Overweight from Equal Weight at Atlantic Equities.

L-3 Communications (LLL): Bank of America-Merrill Lynch lifts the aerospace name to Neutral from Sell.

Lazard (LAZ): UBS increases its investment assessment on the money manager to Neutral from Sell.

LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton (LVMUY): The giant French luxury goods firm gets a Buy-from-Neutral lift at UBS.

OpenTable (OPEN): The stock is now Buy from Neutral at Goldman Sachs.

PulteGroup (PHM): Credit Suisse hoists the homebuilder to Outperform from Perform.

Tesla Motors Inc (TSLA): Deutsche Bank hoists the electric auto outfit, surging about 4% as I write, to Buy from Hold. (For related reading, please see What's Next for Tesla Motors? 7 Expert Investors Make Predictions.)

United Community Banks (UCBI): Raymond James juices the stock to Strong Buy from Buy.

Vantiv (VNTV): The business services stock is increased to Buy from Neutral at UBS.

VCA Antech (WOOF): Shares in the veterinary firm are upgraded to Overweight from Neutral at Piper Jaffray.

VeriSign (VRSN): Brokerage boutique B. Riley raises its recommendation to Buy from Neutral.

(See also: Stock Downgrades: Bed Bath & Beyond Inc. Needs a Nap and New Stock Coverage: Cardiovascular Systems Inc Will Win Your Heart.)
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