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Stock Upgrades: US Steel Is a Steal

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

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Not the most fitting farewell for the New York Stock Exchange, whose history began under a Buttonwood tree in 1792 and ended by sending Twitter's (NYSE:TWTR) bluebird skyward in 2013. Its last day as an independent entity was notable only for light volume and stocks snapping a two-session winning streak. The Dow (INDEXDJX:.DJI) dropped along with other US markets on a day that saw some heavy losses. The New York Times (NYSE:NYT), which once trashed Tesla Motors (NASDAQ:TSLA), invited the car company to its annual DealBook conference. (The scathing review occurred as far back as February, so perhaps Mr. Musk can not recall it. Regardless, his stock still fell 4.77%.) Communist China concluded its own confab, safe in the knowledge it will soon overtake the heartland of capitalism economically. Though you would never know it, based on the paltry amount it just gave those poor citizens of the Philippines. And on 11/12/13, the year's top day to get married, Match.com parent InterActiveCorp (NASDAQ:IACI) gained 1.83% to a historic high. Because, while love hurts, it isn't as painful as having an affair.

In terms of economic events that may move US markets today, at 2:00 p.m. Eastern the Treasury's October budget deficit is seen shrinking from September's figure. Regarding specific stocks, earnings announcements are expected out of Ahold (OTCMKTS:AHONY), Canadian Solar (NASDAQ:CSIQ), Cisco Systems (NASDAQ:CSCO), E.ON (OTCMKTS:EONGY), ExOne (NASDAQ:XONE), GDF Suez (OTCMKTS:GDFZY), Kinross Gold (NYSE:KGC), Macy's (NYSE:M), NetApp (NASDAQ:NTAP), NetEase (NASDAQ:NTES), and SeaWorld (NYSE:SEAS).

Alliant Techsystems (NYSE:ATK): ATK is upgraded to Outperform from Neutral at Credit Suisse.

Heartland Express (NASDAQ:HTLD): Shares are moved to Outperform from Market Perform with Wells Fargo.

Norsk Hydro (OTCMKTS:NHYDY): Citigroup increases the energy outfit to Neutral from Sell.

NuStar Energy (NYSE:NS): The limited partnership gets lifted to Neutral from Underperform at Credit Suisse.

NuStar GP Holdings (NYSE:NSH): NSH is now Neutral from Underperform at Credit Suisse

Qualcomm (NASDAQ:QCOM): Chip stock Qualcomm is added to the Conviction Buy list at Goldman Sachs. Qualcomm stock is up 11.18% in the past 12 months.

Red Hat (NYSE:RHT): Software stock Red Hat gets raised Overweight from Neutral at Piper Jaffray. Red Hat stock has slumped 6.16% since November 2012.

Transocean (NYSE:RIG): RIG is raised to Buy from Neutral at Guggenheim. Its price objective, previously $56, increases to $70.

US Steel (NYSE:X): US Steel is moved to Overweight from Equal-Weight at Morgan Stanley, which cites improving profit margins. As a result, shares of US Steel are up impressively ahead of this morning's opening bell.

Western Refining (NYSE:WNR): Shares are now Buy from Neutral at UBS.

(See also: Stock Downgrades: How Now Brown Cash Cow? Dean Foods Cries Over Spilled Milk and New Stock Coverage: Bottom Line, Lululemon Is No Longer Flying by the Seat of Its Pants)
No positions in stocks mentioned.
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