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Stock Upgrades: Time Is Money for Movado


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

With apologies to Sesame Street, Wall Street's activity this week has been brought to you by the number 84. Dow Industrials (^DJI) advanced 84.79 points yesterday, an in a week when Dell Inc. (DELL) - founded in that Orwellian annum - has been on a real hot streak.

Alas our GDP gains of 7.2% that year won't return any time soon, but Beijing just reported its own economic growth rose 7.9%, which was good enough to send the bulls shopping at China Ceramics (CCCL). It surged 14.19%, although Bank of America's (BAC) Merrill Lynch unit may no longer be quite so "bullish on America" after its parent plunged 4.24%. Adding insult to injury, BlackRock (BLK) - sold by the financial firm in 2011 - gained 4.39% to a three-year peak, only twenty-four hours after First Republic (FRC) - jettisoned in October 2009 - hit the highest level in its entire history.

JPMorgan (JPM) was the second poorest Dow (^DJI) stock, edging off 0.81%, not exactly abject poverty but perhaps one reason why its ATMs are downsizing to $1 bills. And Anglo-Australian miner Rio Tinto (PINK:RTPPF) squeezed out its CEO after six years. Word has it he will be replaced by a Down Under prospector who just unearthed a 12-pound gold nugget worth $500,000 with a $6,000 metal detector.

Ahead of the holiday weekend, an improvement is expected in the University of Michigan's January consumer sentiment survey at 9:55 a.m. Eastern. It's another full Friday for fourth quarter earnings, with key Dow (^DJI) component General Electric (GE) having already revealed a well-received set of numbers. Johnson Controls (JCI), Morgan Stanley (MS), Parker-Hannifin (PH), Rockwell Collins (COL), Schlumberger (SLB), State Street (STT), and SunTrust Banks (STI) are all also scheduled to release results.

Amazon (AMZN): Saying the company will be able to sustain rapid growth due to the acceleration of mobile commerce, Pacific Crest raises its recommendation to Outperform from Sector Perform. Its price objective is $346.

Capital One (COF): Susquehanna raises the financial firm to Positive from Neutral, although shares are slumping ahead of the open on its earnings announcement.

Caterpillar (CAT): The Dow (^DJI) company is upgraded to Overweight from Neutral at Piper Jaffray.

Cornerstone OnDemand (CSOD): The company gets a Buy-from-Neutral upgrade at Goldman Sachs.

Credit Suisse (CS): Morgan Stanley moves the stock to Overweight from Equal-Weight.

easyJet (PINK:ESYJY): The budget British air carrier gets an Overweight-from-Neutral hoist at HSBC Securities.

Fabrinet (FN): JPMorgan moves the electrical equipment outfit to Overweight from Neutral.

Las Vegas Sands (LVS): Wells Fargo lifts the casino company to Outperform from Market Perform.

L'Oreal (PINK:LRLCY): Shares in the French cosmetics company are up in today's European trading after it was lifted to Overweight from Neutral with HSBC Securities, whose target is taken to €121 from €105.

Masco (MAS): MAS is moved to Outperform from Neutral at Credit Suisse.

Movado Group (NYSE:MOV): Citigroup boosts the watchmaker to Buy from Neutral amid expectations its 2013 revenue growth in 2013 will drive margin expansion. The target is also taken up, by $2 to $40.

Netflix (NFLX): The stock, an impressive performer thus far in 2013, is gaining further before the bell on a boost to Buy from Neutral at Janney Capital, which sees fair value of $129. The broker wrote in a note that "Recent developments…are changing how studios, MSOs (Multiple Systems Operators), and investors approach the company."

Palo Alto Networks (PANW): Goldman Sachs raises the equity to Conviction Buy from Buy due to improving penetration with existing customers. Its price objective is $80.

Research In Motion (RIMM): In advance of the imminent BlackBerry 10 launch, Jefferies juices its recommendation to Buy from Hold, sending shares some 6% higher ahead of the open.

T. Rowe Price (TROW): TROW is taken to Buy from Hold with an $80 objective at Stifel Nicolaus, which expects it to gain from a more favorable environment for equity product flows.

Tyson Foods (TSN): BMO Capital Markets moves to poultry powerhouse to Outperform from Market Perform.

Waste Management (WM): The garbage giant gets upgraded to Neutral from Underperform with Wedbush, whose channel checks indicate improving volumes and pricing.

(See also: Stock Downgrades: Visa Not Where You Want to Be and New Stock Coverage: Harry Winston Diamond Still Sparkles.)
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