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Stock Upgrades: Zynga Can Draw Comfort From Wall Street

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

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Apple's (NASDAQ:AAPL) fingerprint, and Anthony's finger, each endured days to forget, but elsewhere it was high-fives all around for investors, with the S&P 500 Index (INDEXSP:.INX) advancing for a seventh straight session. The company co-created by Steve Jobs slid 5.44% as a rash of ratings reductions, illustrated how far the firm has fallen from its historic high last September. That same month, it turns out, marked the nadir for Facebook (NASDAQ:FB), but its torrid times from 12 months ago are now but a nasty nightmare. Shares surged a further 3.30% to an all-time peak amid speculation that a trip to China by its COO hints at something big. Let's hope so. The last time such fevered speculation accompanied one of the company's key executives abroad, it turned out Mark Zuckerberg only journeyed to Hungary to check out its dogs. If Sheryl Sandberg is merely blazing the same tease-worthy trail in Shanghai, she will be in some serious Shih Tzu.

In today's earnings action, Brady Corp (NYSE:BRC), Kroger (NYSE:KR), Lululemon Athletica (NASDAQ:LULU), NetSol Technologies (NASDAQ:NTWK), and Ulta Salon (NASDAQ:ULTA) are all due to report results.

Allstate (NYSE:ALL): Citing a favorable industry backdrop, Wells Fargo moves the insurance outfit to Outperform from Market Perform.

Cardinal Financial (NASDAQ:CFNL): Shares get upgraded to Outperform from Perform at Keefe Bruyette. The price objective, previously $18, increases to $20.

Cash America (NYSE:CSH): JMP Securities increases the equity to Outperform from Market Perform.

Constant Contact (NASDAQ:CTCT): The marketing services name is now Buy from Neutral at Janney.

EnCana Corporation (NYSE:ECA): RBC Capital Markets raises the oil and gas company to Outperform from Sector Perform.

Harmony Gold Mining (NYSE:HMY): JPMorgan hoists the commodity company to Overweight from Neutral.

Polycom (NASDAQ:PLCM): The video conferencing company gets taken to Outperform from Market Perform at Raymond James.

Portland General Electric (NYSE:POR): KeyBanc gives the utility a Buy-from-Hold boost.

Wendy's (NASDAQ:WEN): The fast food firm is hoisted to Buy from Hold with a $10 target at Argus, which has high hopes for both better value offerings and restaurant remodeling.

Zynga Inc (NASDAQ:ZNGA): Evercore increases the gaming company, whose offerings include Draw Something, FarmVille, and Words With Friends, to Equal Weight from Underweight. Reasons for optimism include increasing user engagement and shares are, accordingly, showing strength ahead of today's opening bell.

(See also: New Stock Coverage: Rock-Tenn, Paper Stock, Beats Scissors and Stock Downgrades: Is Netflix Revenue Stream Up a Creek?)
No positions in stocks mentioned.
The information on this website solely reflects the analysis of or opinion about the performance of securities and financial markets by the writers whose articles appear on the site. The views expressed by the writers are not necessarily the views of Minyanville Media, Inc. or members of its management. Nothing contained on the website is intended to constitute a recommendation or advice addressed to an individual investor or category of investors to purchase, sell or hold any security, or to take any action with respect to the prospective movement of the securities markets or to solicit the purchase or sale of any security. Any investment decisions must be made by the reader either individually or in consultation with his or her investment professional. Minyanville writers and staff may trade or hold positions in securities that are discussed in articles appearing on the website. Writers of articles are required to disclose whether they have a position in any stock or fund discussed in an article, but are not permitted to disclose the size or direction of the position. Nothing on this website is intended to solicit business of any kind for a writer's business or fund. Minyanville management and staff as well as contributing writers will not respond to emails or other communications requesting investment advice.

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