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Stock Upgrades: World Wrestling Entertainment Is Boxing Clever

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

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Equities, having endured an utterly awful August, took a Hot Tub Time Machine, and revisited better days to begin September. (Apologies to "Dr. Doom" for the metaphor but, being by all accounts a committed swinger, he can surely relate to Dow Industrials (INDEXDJX:.DJI) oscillating in a wide 155-point range.) Truth be told, yesterday investors returned not merely to the 1980s but went even farther back than that. "Where have you gone, Joe Dimaggio?" sang Simon and Garfunkel in 1968. He was last seen selling Mr. Coffee, and will have enjoyed a 10.43% jump in its owner Jarden Corp (NYSE:JAH). In the 1970s a newly single Mr. Simon penned a hymn to Eastman Kodak (OTCMKTS:EKDKQ), which yesterday fell 45.64% after emerging from bankruptcy. And as for those Woodstock-era Easy Riders of Harley-Davidson (NYSE:HOG), which just turned 110 years young, time has not been kind, as a current New Yorker cartoon illustrates. Its stock has, however, aged far better, advancing another 1.82% to stand at a fresh multi-year peak.

Today in economic data, the Federal Reserve's beige book detailing regional financial conditions in a dozen districts is released at 2:00 p.m. Eastern. On the quarterly earnings front, Ciena Corporation (NASDAQ:CIEN), Dollar General (NYSE:DG), FuelCell Energy (NASDAQ:FCEL), Navistar International(NYSE:NAV), and SAIC, Inc. (NYSE:SAI) are all due to report results.

Allison Transmission (NYSE:ALSN) The auto parts outfit gets upgraded to Buy from Neutral at Goldman Sachs.

Angie's List (NASDAQ:ANGI): Shares are raised to Outperform from Sector Perform at RBC Capital Markets.

BASF (OTCMKTS:BASFY): Macquarie moves the chemical company to Outperform from Neutral.

Best Buy (NYSE:BBY): Bank of America-Merrill Lynch lifts the big box retailer, a stellar stock in 2013, to Neutral from Underperform.

BlackRock Kelso Capital Corp. (NASDAQ:BKCC): Keefe Bruyette boosts the money manager to Market Perform from Underperform.

CBS Corporation (NYSE:CBS) The broadcasting behemoth is upgraded to Overweight from Neutral at Atlantic Equities. Yesterday shares surged 4.70% on the resolution of its dispute with Time Warner Cable (NYSE:TWC).

Cruise Companies: Carnival Corporation (NYSE:CCL) (price target taken to $45 from $36) and Royal Caribbean (NYSE:RCL) are each now Positive from Neutral at Susquehanna.

eBay Inc. (NASDAQ:EBAY): Wedbush adds the online auctioneer to its Best Ideas List.

Insurance Stocks: Citing a boost from higher interest rates, Barclays moves MetLife (NYSE:MET) and Prudential (NYSE:PRU) to Overweight from Equal-Weight.

Medley Capital (NYSE:MCC): The closed end fund is upgraded to Outperform from Market Perform with Wells Fargo.

Nokia Corporation (NYSE:NOK): A second successive session of dual upgrades for the Finnish telecom titan, today taken to Neutral from Underperform by BNP Paribas and Hold from Underperform at Jefferies. (Note that shares also got downgraded this morning.)

Siemens (NYSE:SI): The German industrial giant gets increased to Outperform from Neutral by BNP Paribas.

Verizon (NYSE:VZ): Robert W. Baird boosts the key Dow (INDEXDJX:.DJI) component to Outperform from Neutral amid optimism over its Vodafone (NASDAQ:VOD) deal. The price objective also increases, by $1 to $53.

World Wrestling Entertainment, Inc. (NYSE:WWE): Roth Capital raises its rating to Buy from Neutral and takes its target to $13 from $10 amid optimism over TV deals.

(See also: New Stock Coverage: Bill Still to Come Due for JC Penney and Stock Downgrades: Ryanair Is About to Crash.)
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No positions in stocks mentioned.
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