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Stock Upgrades: Things Looking Better in the BlackBerry Patch


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

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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