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Stock Upgrades: Why You Better Buy Best Buy


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

On a day the world's oldest woman turned 115, that other product of the 1890s, the Dow Jones Industrial Average (^DJI), has never looked better. Blue chips reached record highs, and are up 8.8% this year, after bullish growth pronouncements from China, where eight is always a lucky number. Rip Van Winkle, were he to suddenly awake, could be forgiven for thinking that the financial crisis never happened, especially had he stuffed his money in the mattresses of Tempur-Pedic (TPX), a 3.84% gainer.

Milk purportedly helps induce sleep, that is if you can handle the excitement of dairy giant Dean Foods (DF) jumping 2.13% before the bell on an upgrade this morning. "I am thankful for laughter, except when milk comes out of my nose," Woody Allen once said; a JC Penney (JCP) for his thoughts on yesterday's 18.60% advance in American Apparel (APP), his arch-nemesis. And on a day that made many rich, spare a thought for the bag ladies of Duane Reade. Its owner Walgreen (WAG) tumbled 2.51% amid all the green screens.

Today at 10:00 a.m. Eastern, forecasts call for a fall in January factory orders, while the Federal Reserve releases its March beige book surveying a dozen regional economic conditions at 2:00 p.m. In earnings action, American Eagle Outfitters (AEO), Big Lots (BIG), Brown-Forman (BF-B), Delek US Holdings (DK), Hovnanian Enterprises (HOV), PetSmart (PETM), Staples (SPLS), and Swatch Group (PINK: SWGAY) are all due to report results.

Best Buy (NYSE:BBY) Jefferies juices its recommendation to Buy from Hold amid an improved management team and cost-cutting potential. Its target price is also taken up substantially, to $24 from $13.

Dean Foods (DF): America's largest dairy producer, now Outperform from Neutral at Credit Suisse, scores its second upgrade of the week on account of an increasingly compelling valuation. Its price objective is also increased by $3 to $21.

Discover Financial Services (DFS): Reduced losses and a deep executive bench are among the catalysts behind William Blair's Outperform-from-Market Perform upgrade of the credit card company.

IntercontinentalExchange (ICE): ICE gets increased to Outperform from Market Perform at Keefe Bruyette, which is impressed with new swaps future products. The price objective, previously $148, is now $184.

M/I Homes (MHO): JMP Securities moves MHO to Outperform from Market Perform.

Tangoe (TNGO): Shares are added to Wunderlich's Best Ideas List.

Tesco (PINK:TSCDY): The British supermarket stock, shrugging off its recent horse meat scandal, is increased to Outperform from Neutral at Credit Suisse. Shares are up more than 2% in today's overseas trading as a result.

(See also: New Stock Coverage: Check's in the Mail for FedEx and Stock Downgrades: Did Someone Just Say "Sell" Apple?)
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