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Stock Upgrades: Things Looking Better in the BlackBerry Patch

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

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All eyes may have been on the Super Bowl, but it was the Fed's continued refusal to remove the punch bowl that proved more pertinent in moving markets higher for a fifth straight week. Research in Motion, now known as BlackBerry (BBRY) advertised in the big game yet tumbled 26.83%.

It's fruitless to play Monday morning quarterback on the stock however, since it just scored an analyst upgrade this Monday morning. As indeed did Mercedes-Benz owner Daimler (PINK:DDAIF), its Kate Upton ad reaping immediate rewards. This morning in economics, factory orders for December are due at 10:00 a.m. Eastern.

About half of the S&P 500 (^GSPC) companies have now announced earnings, with today's results are expected to include Anglo American Platinum (PINK: AGPPY), Clorox (CLX), Gannett (GCI), Humana (HUM), Leggett & Platt (LEG), Royal Caribbean Cruises (RCL), Sysco Corporation (SYY), and Yum Brands (YUM).

BlackBerry (NASDAQ:BBRY): The company, known until today as Research In Motion, is raised to Outperform from Perform by Sanford Bernstein, which also raises its price target by $10 to $22. Pent-up demand and favorable distributor feedback are both seen as tailwinds, and shares are up sharply before the opening bell, boosted by both the upgrade and a positive shout-out in Barron's on Saturday.

Daimler (PINK:DDAIF) HSBC Securities lifts the luxury German automaker to Overweight from Neutral.

FedEx (FDX): Shares are added to the US 1 List at Bank of America-Merrill Lynch.

Franklin Resources (BEN): Keefe Bruyette boosts BEN to Outperform from Market Perform.

Google (GOOG): GOOG gets downgraded to Market Perform from Outperform by BMO Capital Markets.

Mead Johnson Nutrition (MJN): Goldman Sachs adds the company to its list of Conviction Buys.

Norfolk Southern (NSC): Dahlman Rose raises the railroad to Buy from Hold, assigning an $82 price objective.

PetSmart (PETM): Shares are added to US 1 List at Bank of America-Merrill Lynch.

Sempra Energy (SRE): Shares are moved to Overweight from Neutral at JPMorgan.

Statoil (STO): STO is now Neutral from Underweight at JPMorgan.

St. Jude Medical (STJ): Credit Suisse moves the medical device maker to Outperform from Neutral.

Suez Environnement (PINK:SZEVY) Shares are surging in Europe today after an Overweight-from-Neutral hoist at HSBC Securities, which highlights a better business backdrop.

Timken (TKR): Bank of America-Merrill Lynch takes TKR to Buy from Neutral.

Tyson Foods (TSN): Heartened by increasing demand in China, Crédit Agricole takes the poultry processor to Buy from Underperform. The target price is also increased, by $10 to $30.

Western Union (WU): Deutsche Bank takes the money-transfer titan to Buy from Hold.

Yahoo (YHOO): The tech firm is now Buy from Hold with a $25 price objective at Stifel Nicolaus, which highlights increased valuation for it Asian assets.

(See also: New Stock Coverage: Sprint Stuck in the Starting Block and Stock Downgrades: Bear Hug For Hershey's Kisses.)
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No positions in stocks mentioned.
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